Wal-Mart Helps Sacramento Students Bag Cash For Their Schools

Plastic shopping bag recycling program will reduce waste, benefit
 communities and earn cash grants for local schools

Sacramento, Calif., Feb. 2, 2005 – Wal-Mart is partnering with Sacramento schools in the Kids Recycling Challenge, a pilot program to help students become responsible stewards of their environment and earn money for their schools at the same time.

From now until May 1, 2005, the Kids Recycling Challenge will encourage students in grades K-6 to collect plastic bags and deliver them to their school to be recycled.  In return, schools receive money for their efforts.  

How does it work?  Students are encouraged to bring in their plastic bags and drop them in recycling bins, which Wal-Mart delivered to their campus.  Each school will receive a $5 credit for each 60-gallon bag collected and delivered to their local Wal-Mart.  The teacher will get a receipt to fax back to the Wal-Mart Foundation, which will track donations from each school.  In May 2005, each school will receive a check for the total amount raised. 

The three schools in the region that recycle the most plastic bags by May 1 will receive additional cash grants from Wal-Mart in the amounts of $3,000 for the first place school, $2,000 for the second place school, and $1,000 for the third place school. As an extra incentive, the first-place school will also be rewarded with an entertaining school-wide assembly focusing on the environment, courtesy of Wal-Mart.

“This is a terrific opportunity for students, parents and teachers to work with Wal-Mart to deliver an important educational recycling message,” says Melissa Brown, assistant superintendent of the Sacramento Unified School District.  “Most importantly, the project connects the community, teaching us all to respect the environment, each other, and the priority to secure needed funding for schools in this rapidly evolving millennium,” adds Brown.

“We are excited to offer students an easy way to help their school raise money to purchase books, computer equipment, or make improvements to playgrounds and ball fields,” says Betsy Reithemeyer, vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart. “This pilot program will help teach children how they can make small changes that add up to a big difference in our environment,” notes Reithemeyer.

To help teachers educate students on the benefits of recycling, the American Plastics Council (APC) has developed interactive lesson plans that are available for download on www.teachingplastics.org
 
As the leading national trade association of the U.S. plastic industry, “The American Plastics Council (APC) applauds Wal-Mart on this creative effort to promote the recycling of plastic bags, said Tim Shestek, APC’s western regional director of state and local public affairs.  “With our long history and technical expertise in the area of plastic collection, recovery and recycling, APC is honored to have its educational curriculum included in this program so that teachers and students alike can learn more about the environmental benefits of lightweight, energy efficient plastic packaging.”

Working towards being a part of the solution, Wal-Mart has recently changed its plastic bags from blue to white so they can be recycled and reused in a wider variety of end products.  Customers will also find recycling bins in the front of all Wal-Mart stores and they can help do their part for the environment by bringing in their plastic bags the next time they shop. 

For a list of schools participating in your area and local school officials available for interviews, call 479-273-4314.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

- # # # -