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Hefty EnergyBag Grant Program

Grants and In-Kind Technical Support to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits,
and Agencies for Innovative Plastics Recycling Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products and Keep America Beautiful

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants and in-kind support to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, materials recovery facilities, and for-profit organizations to initiate a plastics recycling program in local communities throughout the country. Funding and technical assistance are intended to support the Funding Source's new innovative program, where difficult-to-recycle plastics are diverted from landfills and converted into reusable materials.

The Hefty EnergyBag program is a groundbreaking initiative, led by Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products, that collects hard-to-recycle plastics at curbside and converts them into valuable resources. The program provides many economic and environmental benefits. It aids communities in diverting valuable materials from landfills — approximately two pounds per month per household — offsetting solid waste processing charges. In addition, the Hefty EnergyBag program complements existing recycling programs by removing loose, hard-to-recycle flexible plastics from material recycling facilities (MRFs), thereby improving its operational efficiency, reducing fiber line contaminants and residues, and utilizing existing collection and sorting infrastructure - turning operational costs into revenue.

The Hefty EnergyBag program has proven that hard-to-recycle plastics can be collected and converted into new resources. This groundbreaking concept can be leveraged by communities, municipalities, local materials recovery facilities, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and brand owners to expand the initiative on a national level.

Dow and Keep America Beautiful established the Hefty EnergyBag Grant to offer communities nationwide the opportunity to implement the Hefty EnergyBag program as a permanent part of their existing waste management system. Dow’s aim is to establish Hefty EnergyBag programs as viable, self-sustained collection initiatives, which complement mechanical recycling and thereby divert valuable plastics from landfills. Dow will provide grant recipients with the funding and guidance necessary to implement the program in the community of the grant recipient.

How the Hefty EnergyBag Program Works:

Participating households collect their hard-to-recycle plastics in Hefty Energy Bag orange bags. Once full, residents tightly close the bags by tying them and placing them in their curbside recycling carts or bins during their regularly-scheduled recycling pick-up. Participants’ current haulers pick up the tied Hefty EnergyBag orange bags along with their regular recycling materials and send them to the local materials recovery facility (MRF) for sorting. The MRF pulls out the orange bags and sends them to an approved end market, which captures the value of these plastics by converting them into new resources. The program utilizes existing recycling infrastructure and is complementary to mechanical recycling systems.

Evaluation of Proposals:

- Well-organized proposal: Application responses should concisely and clearly address all questions found on the application.
- Planning and organization: Provide a well thought out implementation strategy noting how the program will be managed to ensure ultimate success.
- Tracking performance metrics: Detailed tracking and reporting plans referring to the number and weight of Hefty EnergyBag orange bags collected over time.

In addition to the Evaluation Criteria listed above, preference was given to applications that submit a completed Letter of Collaboration (LOC), where key local stakeholders and sponsors indicate their support to help implement and possibly fund the local Hefty EnergyBag program. (See Pre-Application Information below.)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184742

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

In addition to the Grant funding, Dow will also provide Grant winners an opportunity to obtain additional funding, up to $50,000, to those communities who commit their own funds in a 1:1 match to support the launch of the local program.

Dow and Reynolds Consumer products (manufacturer of the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags) will also provide in-kind technical support to aid in program implementations. Dow also funds the cost of initial composition audits, and environmental vetting of primary end markets.

Term of Contract:

Awardees are expected to have Hefty EnergyBag programs successfully launched and operating within 12 months of the grant recipient announcement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are open to communities, governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, local materials recovery facilities, and for-profit organizations wishing to implement a curbside Hefty EnergyBag program in a community.

Pre-proposal Conference:


Join Keep America Beautiful and Dow for a webinar to learn more about the Hefty EnergyBag Grant Program. The one-hour session will introduce applicants to the Hefty EnergyBag program, review the grant application process and describe how grant applications are evaluated. The Webinar will take place on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EET.

To register for the Webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Application Timeline:

October 15, 2018 – January 31, 2019: Application period begins
January 31, 2019: Application deadline
February 1 – May 31, 2019: Evaluation period
May 31, 2019: Estimated award notification
June 30, 2019: Grant Recipient Agreement and LOC signed

To be eligible for a grant, candidates must submit an application via email to the Program by January 31, 2019.

Applicants should address questions and forward applications to Jason Smith.

One application will be accepted per candidate.

Preference will be given to applicants who include a signed LOC with their application. (See the LOC in Supporting Documents below.)

In addition to the Grant funding, Dow will also provide Grant winners an opportunity to obtain additional funding, up to $50,000, to those communities who commit their own funds to support the launch of the local Hefty EnergyBag program. This 1:1 Matching Incentive funding must be used towards the purchase of additional Hefty EnergyBag orange bags, and/or EnergyBag program communications and promotions.

Keep America Beautiful and Dow offer webinars to learn more about the grant program.

For more information about the Program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Jason Smith

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming