Plastic bottle recycling hits record high

Plastic bottle recycling by consumers increased 123 million pounds in 2010 (up 5 percent) to reach a record high of nearly 2.6 billion pounds for the year, according to figures released jointly by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).

The full 2010 report (National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report) is available here.

More information on recycling plastic bottles, including tips for consumers, is available here.

Resources for municipal recyclers are available at

The 21st annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report also marks the twenty-first consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles that have been returned for recycling. The pounds of bottles collected for recycling has grown each year since the industry survey began in 1990. The recycling rate for plastic bottles rose one percent to reach nearly 29 percent in 2010.

APR, which represents more than 90 percent of the postconsumer plastics recycling capacity in North America, recently introduced a series of bale specifications to help buyers and sellers of post-consumer plastics to come to a common understanding of available materials.

A separate study titled, “Plastics Recycling Collection: National Reach Study” published earlier this year and sponsored by ACC found that 94 percent of Americans now have access to recycle plastic bottles – making consumer access to plastics recycling more widespread than previously believed.