The Plastic Recycling Rate That Jumped 50 Percent


Plastic cups made of PP plastic were part of the dramatic recycling rate increase.

Yogurt cups. Butter tubs. Five-gallon buckets. Disposable cups. While it might seem these items don’t have much in common, an American Chemistry Council report found that recycling of these types of non-bottle rigid plastics has risen by an astonishing rate: 47 percent in the past two years.

The rise in the recycling rate is attributed to two main things.

First, a growing number of reclaimers found value in non-bottle high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics and expanded their services in response to increased demand for recycled plastic.

Second, in just one year the collection of non-bottle rigid plastics grew by 33 percent, meaning more U.S. communities have access to a recycling program.

More community recycling opportunities coupled with more recyclers willing to take the products means a skyrocketing recycling rate.

“Recycling these valuable plastics not only keeps them out of landfills but also helps close the loop, as these post-consumer materials go on to have a second life as useful products,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, in a press release.

View the whole American Chemistry Council Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report here.

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Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. The American Chemistry Council is one of these partners.

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