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