A relatively new, non-profit company located between Wilmington and Newport is turning plastic bags into park benches and picnic tables.

Eco Plastic Products of Delaware has only had their manufacturing site up and running for a little more than a year, but news of their products and their mission is spreading fast.

Eco Plastic Products of Delaware transforms plastic bags into benches and picnic tables

CEO Jim Kelley says the company is part commercial, part educational and part philanthropic.

"We do get orders in advance so that's part of what we're doing," said Kelley, "but we've also made quite a few pieces that we've donated to other charitable organizations.

"We do trips, we have tours, school groups, basically any group that's interested can come through, take a tour, get to meet us, see what we do and hopefully want to be a part of that."

Company founder and president Charlie Farletta said he wants Eco Plastic to educate people about the recycling of plastics and to contribute to other charities in the area.

"I feel that all of us, if we can, have an obligation to do something for society."

Several schools across the area are now in possession of Eco Plastic Products benches and picnic tables, often times made from plastic bags the schools brought to the company.

The company also has benches located at New Castle County's Delcastle Recreation Area.

Kelley said it takes thirty-thousand plastic bags to make one of their benches but  Farletta said it's not the only thing that makes their products unique.

"We can give them different colors," said Farletta. "We do school colors, we can give mixed colors, it looks like an abstract painting if they want. These guys can do just about anything."

In addition to helping the environment, Eco Plastic Products also provides job opportunities for people who might have a harder time finding employment elsewhere.

"There's lots of positive energy, there's no negativity here," said Kelley. "Everybody that comes here feels that. It's a wonderful thing that we're doing. They can feel proud to be part of what we're doing."

And the organization just opened its own art gallery on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at its manufacturing site on Germay Drive off of Maryland Avenue.

Leo D'Odd is the company's resident artist and creates the art with recycled plastic.