In February, PLASTICS announced a list of member companies that have stepped up as Clean Up Champions, supporting the goals of our Community Impact Task Group. The task group was formed by the PLASTICS’ Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP) Committee to foster collaboration among PLASTICS member companies and external organizations to further plastics industry efforts on behalf of the environment and the communities in which the industry operates.  

This blog series will introduce you to our Clean Up Champions and their efforts.

Drum roll, please

The first Clean Up Champion we’re featuring is already a veteran in the world environmental activity—Dart Container. They’re based in Mason, Michigan, but wherever the company has a presence, Dart employees can be found participating in local efforts to keep their communities clean and environmentally healthy.

For instance, 2023 is the ten-year anniversary of DCAT—Dart Community Action Team, a North American network of employee-led groups dedicated to the environmental health of their local communities, with a focus on marine debris prevention and mitigation.

Wherever Dart operates, there's a Dart Community Action Team serving the community.

A tradition of service

Since its founding, DCAT members and even their families have logged more than 13-thousand hours of service, and prevented tens of thousands of pounds of litter from settling in the environment.

“What I love most about this program is that it makes an impact on our families and ourselves as much as it does on the environment,” said Libby Rice, Social Responsibility & Sustainability Specialist at Dart. “I’m so proud of the Dart employee family for embracing the DCAT initiative as they have.”

Some of the activity is driven by DCAT itself, other participation is DCAT members getting out there and participating in efforts sponsored by other groups. The goal is for each DCAT chapter to participate in at least one clean up event per year. Here's how 2022 shaped up:

NOTE: The actual number of pounds of trash collected is likely much higher, as many participants do not weigh their bags.

A corporate culture

Those 1,631 hours of service made themselves felt beyond the location of that service. Through a partnership with One Tree Planted, Dart has arranged for a tree to be planted for each hour of service logged by a DCAT member. In 2022, Dart supported reforestation projects in Florida, California, Ontario and British Columbia. It’s part of a DCAT campaign called Power of One, designed to show people how significant one person’s contribution of time can be.

Among Dart’s other commitments to the environment, the company is a national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful “plogging” campaign that encourages people to collect litter while out for a walk or a run. Dart also recycles EPS (expanded polystyrene) from DCAT clean ups and other events that care to be part of the feedstock chain.