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ACC Releases 2008 Report on Recycling of Non-Bottle Rigid Plastics in the United States

Jennifer Killinger (703) 741-5833
March 1, 2010

ARLINGTON, VA (March 3, 2010) – The American Chemistry Council today released the 2008 report on the collection and recycling of post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastics across the United States.  The report, prepared by Moore Recycling Associates, Inc., found that in 2008, over 361 million pounds of post-consumer rigid plastics were collected for recycling nationwide, an increase of nearly 11 percent from 2007.  The report also found that in North American markets, much of the recycled material was used to manufacture new products, such as pallets, crates, composite lumber, and gardening items.

The category “non-bottle rigid plastics” includes nondurable items (or packaging), such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tubs, polypropylene (PP) cups and similar food containers, and durable items, such as pallets, crates, carts, 5-gallon buckets and electronic housings.

According to the report the number of communities collecting mixed rigid plastics also has grown in response to demand from domestic and export buyers. 

In 2008, twenty-eight of the one-hundred largest U.S. cities collected non-bottle rigid plastics through curbside programs, and a growing number of communities throughout the United States are recovering and recycling this material.  Additionally, plastic scrap prices were strong the first 3 quarters of 2008.

“Plastics are too valuable to waste.  They should be recycled.  It’s encouraging to see that communities, recyclers and consumers are increasingly recognizing the value of post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastics, and working together to provide recycling opportunities” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. 

“ACC continues to promote recycling by providing technical support, increasing access to collection programs, and promoting greater consumer awareness,” Russell said.  “This is the second year we’ve conducted this research and we’re pleased to see a significant increase as we track recycling progress of non-bottle rigid plastics.”

The report is based on data supplied by 47 post-consumer plastic processors, end-users and exporters across the United States.

The full report, “2008 National Post consumer Report on Non-Bottle Rigid Plastics Recycling,” is available on www.americanchemistry.com/plastics.  Follow ACC plastics recycling on Twitter: @Recycle_Plastic, http://twitter.com/Recycle_Plastic.

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