Environmental Protection

More Than 930 Million Pounds of Rigid Plastics Recycled Each Year

In 2011, 934 million pounds of rigid plastics, which does not include plastic bottles, was recycled. That number is expected to be higher for 2012, especially since local access to recycling centers increased from 40 percent to 57 percent between the last two years.

The 2011 National Postconsumer Non-Bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling Report has been released by the Plastics Recycling Conference on behalf of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The report found that 61 percent of rigid plastics collected in the U.S. were recycled in Canada or the United States, which is a drastic change from previous years.

The large number of recycling is due in part to the recent increase in communities that collect many types or rigid plastics, along with their bottle collections. In the newest consumer access report, Plastic Recycling Collection: National Reach Study, 2012 Update, it was found that more than 1,400 cities and 200 counties in the U.S. collect all rigid plastic containers.

“With recycling of rigid plastics containers now available to a substantial majority of Americans—in other words, surpassing the FTC’s 60 percent threshold—the recycling message can be greatly simplified, making it easier to educate consumers,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for ACC. “This is a significant milestone for recycling and a tremendous benefit to packaging manufacturers, major brands, consumers and recyclers,” Russell said.

To view any of the recycling reports, please click here.

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