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Milestone for US plastic bottle recycling

United States – US plastic bottle recycling climbed 3.3% last year to top 3 billion pounds or more than 1.36 million tonnes – the twenty-fifth consecutive year that Americans have increased their collection volumes, according to figures released by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council. The recycling rate edged a percentage point higher to 31.8%.

APR executive director Steve Alexander points out: ‘Americans generated an estimated US$ 730 million in recycled plastic bottles in 2014.

The simple act of recycling helps generate local revenue, supports recycling jobs and enables us to continue to benefit from these useful resources.’

A higher percentage of all post-consumer plastic bottle material was processed by domestic reclaimers in 2014 whereas exports rose slightly in volume terms but occupied their lowest percentage share in six years (21.9%). ‘The drop in exports may reflect the strength of the US dollar and growth in domestic reclamation capacity,’ it is contended.

Growth in single-stream collections of household recyclables in the USA is resulting in higher bottle recycling participation rates while lack of access to away-from-home recycling continues to be a barrier to increased collection, the two organisations note.

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