Message from Secretary Hitt: The ABCs of sustainability

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." That quote by Benjamin Franklin rings true especially this time of year, as thousands South Carolina students prepare to head back to school.

With that philosophy in mind, one way Team S.C. is working to invest in education is by teaching students the role recycling plays in all of our futures.

In addition to providing resources to the business community, the S.C. Commerce Recycling Market Development team is working to get students excited about recycling and its diverse impact by giving them a first-hand look at the process.

Team S.C. recently assembled 250 recycling toolkits for the 4K First Steps program. These kits, to be used in the classroom, will show students how a plastic bottle is transformed into flake, resin and fiber, and then into finished products like textiles, carpets and more.

Instilling the importance of recycling isn't just an investment in sustainability, it's also an investment in the Palmetto State's economic future. With more than 300 recycling-related companies calling South Carolina home, this $13 billion sector has become an important pillar of the state's economy. In fact, last year alone, recycling firms announced $127 million in capital investment, bringing more than 400 jobs to our borders.

Moving forward, Team S.C. is committed to the continued growth of this sustainable industry in the classroom, the boardroom and beyond. After all, a strong recycling industry allows us to protect our environment, while also bringing opportunities and success to South Carolina.