October 2020
Volume 4, Issue 1

Trex Plastic Challenge

What is Trex?

Above: Trex Company Logo, courtesy of trex.com

Above: Trex Company Logo, courtesy of trex.com

Since 1996 Trex has become the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking products. Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, Trex produces eco-friendly composite decking and outdoor furniture made from an innovative blend of 95% reclaimed wood and plastic film. Today they offer the industry’s widest array of high-performance composite products that can be purchased in more than 40 countries around the world.[1] Trex uses some of the most earth-friendly manufacturing processes in the country, reclaiming factory waste, and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals. They also partner with organizations to help build a greener outlook for the planet. Through all of their actions, they offer consumers an environmentally responsible choice for their decking needs.[2]

Trex partners with national retailers such as Kroger, Kohl’s, and Home Depot to purchase plastic film to use in their manufacturing process. In addition, Trex offers recycling programs that schools, univertieis, and communities can tap into in order to recycle plastic film.

Trex Plastic Challenge

To put on the Trex plastic film challenge each academic year, Trex partners with the Department of Residence Life. The challenge presented by Trex is to collect at least 500 pounds of plastic film within a six month time period, typically November through April here on campus. The plastic that is collected is then sent to a local retailer where it is then sent to a distribution center from which Trex purchases the plastic. If the 500 pound minimum is met, Trex will provide a free bench to place on campus. This bench is then placed based on which of the residential neighborhoods has logged the most recycled film during the course of the challenge.

During the Trex Plastic Challenge, we accept plastic film that is clean, dry, and free of food residue at any of our five locations. These locations include the General Services Complex Lobby, Gardens Community Center, Hullabaloo Hall 24 Hour Desk, Commons 24 Hour Desk, and White Creek Community Center. Hard plastics such as water bottles and containers are not accepted.

Above: Plastic film collection from 2019 - 2020 cycle

Above: Plastic film collection from 2019 – 2020 cycle

Below is a list of the types of plastic that are accepted during the challenge.

  • Bread and cereal bags
  • Grocery bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper sleeves
  • Ice bags
  • Ziplock and other resealable bags
  • Produce bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packaging air pillows
  • Food storage bags
  • Salt bags
  • Product wrap

[1] https://www.trex.com/our-company/

[2] https://www.trex.com/why-trex/eco-friendly-decking/

Bench earned from Trex Plastic Challenge in 2018

Above: Trex bench earned during the 2018 – 2019 challenge cycle

Results to Date

The Department of Residence Life began participating in the Trex Plastic Challenge in 2018. Each year that we have participated we have surpassed the goal of 500 pounds and earned our very own Trex bench. During the 2018 – 2019 cycle of the challenge, we collected 841.2. Then during the 2019 – 2020 cycle of the challenge, we collected 856.19 pounds of plastic film. At select locations, the collection bins are up year round due to the overwhelmingly positive response of the campus community. With that being said, since the fall of 2018 we have recycled over 2,600 pounds of plastic film.


  • You can find out more about Trex and their products by visiting their website.
  • You can learn more about the Trex Plastic Challenge here at Texas A&M and stay up to date by visiting our webpage.


Stay in Contact with Residence Life Sustainability

Email: sustainability@reslife.tamu.edu

Instagram: aggiesgoinggreen

Facebook: Aggies Going Green

Twitter: @TAMUResLife

Webpage: reslife.tamu.edu/living/sustainability