Oakdale Takes on the Trex Film Plastic Collection Challenge



Pictured is the flyer for the Trex competition Oakdale High School has entered.

Riley Frutiger, Writer

Oakdale High School has already been ahead of the curve when it comes to being environmentally friendly, being the first school in FCPS to be recognized as a certified “Green School”. Since then, the Environmental Club has enacted environmentally friendly initiatives, including the water refill stations in the halls and the composting bins in the cafeteria.


Trex, a company dedicated to making decking material out of recycled materials, is holding a competition for schools to collect film plastic. This includes grocery bags, chip bags, plastic, bubble wrap. 


Film plastics are typically made out of polyethylene, a flexible and soft plastic. This thin material makes it easier for the wind to sweep it away, and it often ends up in the ocean. Things like grocery bags can be mistaken for things like jellyfish, and this plastic results in the death of over one thousand sea turtles each year.


However, there are many solutions to this problem, and a big one is finding new uses for formally single use plastic. Trex has committed to using these film plastics to make a composite that can be used for decking materials. This innovation could be a sustainable way to prevent these plastics from ending up in landfills or the ocean.


 The challenge is a nationwide competition to collect the most film plastic per month. At the end of every month, schools will weigh how much plastic they collected, and then submit it to a participating grocery store for recycling. The school with the most plastic recycled will be rewarded with a Trex bench for their campus.


The Environmental Club has entered Oakdale in this competition, and hope that students will be willing to participate, just as they were with the composting initiative. The two students appointed heads of this newest project, Junior Suhane Tandon and Senior Johnathan Hammer, have been challenged with getting the competition to the school.


“It’s been kind of stressful. I’ve never had to do anything of this magnitude before, but I am hoping it works out and people actually do it,” admitted Tandon.


There has been mixed participation with the composting initiative, which is due to the lack of knowledge about recycling and composting at Oakdale. 


When asked about what he knew about recycling, Junior Ty Pryzgocki confessed that “I know nothing, really. I know I should but you know.”


Upon being asked the same question, Junior Brynney Eagan stated, “It’s when you recycle plastic. Is there more to it? I know you turn the plastic into other things.”


The goal of the environmental club is to educate and encourage students to help the environment in any way they can.


Eagan remarked, “Save the Earth, you only get one. Anything environmentally friendly is important to have in schools.”


There is interest in saving the planet, and the Environmental Club is dedicated to giving students the opportunity to do so by doing things like entering the school in the Trex competition. Oakdale has already collected 200 pounds of plastic from the staff, a number that can only go up now that students are getting involved.


If you have any film plastic that fits the requirements of the challenge, please discard it in one of the two white bins. The first bin is located in the vestibule at the front of Main Street, and the second is located outside of Mrs. Nave’s room, A118.

Any student with any additional questions or interested in joining the Environmental Club can contact Mrs. Elizabeth Nave at [email protected].