AMERIPEN releases used packaging survey findings
By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
A survey by the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) on the recovery of used packaging materials points to standardizing a suite of best practices as the key to increase recycling rates.
AMERIPEN'S executive summary of the study, "Unlocked Potential: A Roadmap for Improved Packaging Recovery," is available online and outlines study parameters and findings.
During two years of research, an independent team of members and advisors studied best practice adoption rates in the 100 largest U.S. cities to better understand the effectiveness of different package recycling strategies. Cities seeing the greatest increase and effectiveness in packaging recovery, the study found, had adopted a suite of best practices, while cities struggling to increase rates had fewer practices at their disposal.
Five practices were highlighted in the summary as major factors in aiding recycling rates and effectiveness: unit-based trash pricing mechanisms, mandatory recycling, disposal bans, state-level recycling goals and municipal efforts to incentivize and educate customers. Those five practices, according to the report, offer a policy roadmap for American cities looking to recover more packaging material.
Co-leader of the research, Coca Cola's Jeff Meyers, explained in a press release that the study underscored how important it was to employ a group of practices to tackle recovery rates. "It became clear to us that there was no silver bullet. Our research showed that a suite of best practices must be deployed, including education, policy and infrastructure, to achieve high recovery rates," Meyers said.
The findings from the report echo findings from a white paper released by AMERIPEN in August. AMERIPEN will be pushing ahead with its plans to encourage harmonization of practices across America's largest cities.