United States – ‘Americans generate an estimated 30 million tons of plastic waste every year. Approximately 10% of that is recycled,’ says renewable plastic manufacturer UrthPact, based in Massachusetts. That’s why it has decided to join forces with US consumer products company Preserve to create a new line of single use plastic cutlery and dispensers made from recycled plastic.
Today, the majority of US plastic scrap is sent to landfills and left to litter the planet for the next 30 generations, UrthPact notes. This basically means that the material will endure for more than 500 years. In a bid to help boost recycling rates, the two companies will start a pilot recycling programme at six US stores this month before ultimately organising a nation-wide project this spring.
The new initiative specifically targets polypropylene plastic. The cutlery will be made from 100% recycled polypropylene resin, according to Paul Boudreau, CEO of UrthPact. It will be collected via Preserve’s Gimme 5 plastic recycling programme.
In recent years, access to polypropylene plastic recycling has notably improved in recent years from about 40% of US households to more than 60%, Preserve says.
However, it stresses that a lot of advancements in material treatment can still be made. ‘By landfilling valuable packaging materials, America annually wastes US$11 billion,’ the business underlines.
Its project partner UrthPact has become a pioneer in bio-plastics manufacturing and points out that the amount of waste diverted from US landfills through composting has ‘quadrupled’ since 1990.