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Sharp growth in US rigid plastics recycling

United States – US recycling of non-bottle rigid plastics topped 934 million pounds in 2011 – representing a 13% increase over the previous year, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has noted from a new report by Moore Recycling Associates.

Over 60% of the rigid plastics collected in the USA was recycled either domestically or in Canada, while consumers with local access to recycling services for all non-bottle rigid plastics shot up from 40% to 57% between 2011 and 2012. More than 1400 cities and 300 counties in the USA now collect all rigid plastic containers along with plastic bottles, according to the report.

‘With recycling of rigid plastics containers now available to a substantial majority of Americans – in other words, surpassing the Federal Trade Commission’s 60% threshold – the recycling message can be greatly simplified, making it easier to educate consumers,’ asserts Steve Russell, ACC’s vice president of plastics. He hails the figures contained in the report as ‘a significant milestone for recycling and a tremendous benefit to packaging manufacturers, major brands, consumers and recyclers’.

According to Moore Recycling’s findings, polypropylene and polyethylene comprise by far the largest proportion of collected plastics, with the former accounting for 39% and high-density polyethylene for 31% of all rigid material.

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Source: Plastics Digest

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