able to recycle most types of plastic
A study by Moore Recycling Associates Inc.
found that a much larger portion of the United States population
has ready access to recycle commonly used plastics than previously
believed. Specifically the study, “Plastics Recycling Collection:
National Reach Study,” found that 94 percent of Americans have
access to recycle plastic bottles and 40 percent of the population
also can recycle other types of plastic containers, such as yogurt
cups, dairy tubs and lids.
Although the study surveyed nearly 2,500 communities across the
United States, it found that within the 100 largest cities, the
percentage of the population with access to recycle plastic containers
in addition to bottles has nearly doubled since 2008.
The study did not look at recycling film plastics – a category
that includes plastic bags and many product wraps – but it is
well documented that these materials are collected separately
at more than 12,000 locations across the country.
Recyclers, typically small community-based businesses, rely on
consumers to recover a steady supply of used plastics, such as
assorted bottles, containers, bags and wraps. Recycled plastics
can be made into a variety of innovative products, including
soft t-shirts, durable backyard decks, storage containers, car
parts, decorative moldings and other home building products,
cutting boards and even fashionable hand bags.
The study also noted that it is more effective to communicate
which plastics are recycled in various communities by listing
shapes (e.g., bottles, tubs, trays, lids, etc.) than by listing
resin codes (numbers 1-7), which can be confusing.
ACC sponsored this study as part of a cooperative effort with
the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of the nonprofit
GreenBlue, which is working to launch a new voluntary labeling
system for the recycling of packaging. This initiative is designed
to help consumers better understand how to recycle various packaging
components and to provide a harmonized approach to consumer communication