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Record US recycling of plastic bags and film

Archiv – Plastic bag and film recycling increased significantly across the USA in 2006 to reach a new peak. This increase was driven in part by greater demand for recycled plastics and increased recycling of plastic grocery bags.
An estimated 812 million pounds of post-consumer film (including plastic bags) was recovered in 2006, according to the 2006 National Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Bags and Film Report from Moore Recycling Associates, Inc. of Sonoma, California. This represents a 24% increase from the 652.5 million pounds reported for 2005.
United States | Plastic bag and film recycling increased significantly across the USA in 2006 to reach a new peak. This increase was driven in part by greater demand for recycled plastics and increased recycling of plastic grocery bags.
An estimated 812 million pounds of post-consumer film (including plastic bags) was recovered in 2006, according to the 2006 National Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Bags and Film Report from Moore Recycling Associates, Inc. of Sonoma, California. This represents a 24% increase from the 652.5 million pounds reported for 2005.
’More Americans are recycling plastic bags and film than ever before, driven by a growing recognition that plastic is a resource too valuable to waste,’ comments Steve Russell, Managing Director of the American Chemistry Council’€™s (ACC) Plastics Division. ‘€˜Working with retailers, recyclers and communities around the country, the ACC is working to promote plastic recycling and drive even higher rates for the future. Plastic bags can be recycled into many valuable products, including durable decking and new bags.’€™
Dave Heglas of TREX, a company in northern Virginia, USA, that uses recycled plastic bags to manufacture green building materials, says: ‘€˜Over the past several years, Trex has processed and used a tremendous amount of recycled plastic and that demand has led us to partner with the public and private sector on innovative recycling programmes. We have recycled over 2.5 billion pounds of plastic over the last 10 years into lumber substitutes for outdoor decks.’€™
The value of recycled plastic is leading to new innovations in the bag industry too. Hilex Poly, a leading plastic bag manufacturer, has established a scheme known as Bag-2-Bag(R) that recycles old bags into new ones. The programme encourages consumers to return their used bags to stores. Last year, Hilex’€™s work with consumers and stores recycled the equivalent of 400 million bags and reduced the use of new material by 8 million pounds.
This increase in recycling is expected to continue or accelerate, in large part due to the greater prevalence of plastic bag recycling and to more retailers setting up bag collection schemes. California’€™s 2007 at-store plastic bag recycling mandate and a similar measure in New York City are expected to help fuel continued recycling growth. Similar measures are also being considered by other localities across the nation.

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