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Managing Editor  | March 2017

Report states U.S. recycling of plastic film grew 3 percent in 2015

The American Chemical Council (ACC) released its 2015 National Post-Consumer Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Report at the Plastics Recycling Conference and announced that the recycling of plastic wraps, bags, and plastic film packaging grew by three percent (34 million pounds) in 2015 to nearly 1.2 billion pounds for the year.



A recent report stated that plastic film recycling grew by three percent in 2015. (Wikimedia Commons)


The ACC noted that recycling of the mostly polyethylene-based materials has increased by 84 percent since the report was first issued in 2005. According to the ACC, plastic film recycling is one of the largest growth sectors in the U.S. with a recycling rate of nearly 15 percent.


“We are very pleased that plastic film recycling continues to grow,” said Steve Russell, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division. “America’s plastic makers are strong supporters of plastic film recycling, and due to expanding participation in our Wrap Recycling Action Program, or WRAP, we expect to see film recycling continue to rise.”


In a separate report, the 2015 National Post-Consumer Non-Bottle Rigid Recycling Report, the ACC said that nearly 67 percent of the rigid plastics collected in the U.S. or Canada were recycled, with the remainder exported overseas. While this recycling has grown by 280 percent since 2007, it did decline by four percent (45 million pounds) to 1.24 billion pounds for the year.


“Factors that contributed to the recent leveling include challenging market conditions for commodities in general, increased competition from virgin plastic materials, and weakened demand in Asia,” the ACC report stated. “Higher-quality bales (clean, single resin) fared better than mixed materials as they are less costly to reclaim.”


The items that fall under the rigid category include food containers, caps, lids, buckets, carts, lawn furniture, crates, battery casings, and more.


The reports were compiled form a survey completed by More Recycling. The Plastic Bottle Recycling Report had been released in November 2016.


Read the full reports at https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/2015-National-Post-Consumer-Plastic-Bag-and-Film-Recycling-Report.pdf and https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/2015-National-Post-Consumer-Non-Bottle-Rigid-Plastic-Recycling-Report.pdf

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