ACC reports highlight progress of non-bottle rigids recycling

ACC reports highlight progress of non-bottle rigids recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

A trio of reports released today by the American Chemistry Council indicate substantial gains in access and recycling of non-bottle rigid plastics.

Released in conjunction with the Plastics Recycling Conference in New Orleans, the first two reports, prepared by Moore Recycling for the ACC, show that the recycling of non-bottle rigids in the U.S. increased 13 percent in 2011 to over 934 million pounds, while access to non-bottle rigid recycling increased from 40 percent to 57 percent between 2011 and 2012. Much more of this material is being used domestically. In 2007, domestic consumers represented about one-third of demand, while in 2011, these companies accounted for over 60 percent of bale purchases.

"This is a significant milestone for recycling and a tremendous benefit to packaging manufacturers, major brands, consumers and recyclers," said ACC Plastics Division vice president Steve Russell.

The reports attributed the growth in non-bottle rigid plastics recycling to the wider consumer access to recycling options. Over 1,400 cities and 300 counties in the U.S. now collect non-bottle rigid containers. Most of these local communities accept small rigid containers, such as yogurt or margarine tubs, however, a growing number are adding large bulky items, such as buckets, toys or lawn furniture.

A third report released by ACC, and prepared by Resource Recycling, Inc. [Full disclosure: Resource Recycling, Inc. is the parent company of this publication], also attributes the growth in non-bottle rigid plastics recycling to increased demand for recovered material, improved consumer education, the availability of larger single-stream curbside bins, and excess MRF capacity.

The studies identified end-markets for these products as primarily domestic pipe, bucket, automotive parts manufacturing or other thick-walled injection molding applications. Lidded food storage containers and kitchenware was also identified as a growing end-use application for recovered materials.

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