Rigid plastics recycling increased 13 percent in 2011 to total at least 934 million pounds, according to a new study.
In another study, U.S. consumers with local access to recycle non-bottle rigid plastics rose to 57 percent in 2012 from 40 percent in 2011, according to a news release. Both reports were compiled by Sonoma, Calif.-based Moore Recycling Associates for the Washington-based American Chemistry Council.
In the first study, the “2011 National Postconsumer Non-Bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling Report,” stated that 61 percent of rigid plastics collected in the United States were recycled in the United States or Canada, compared with slightly more than one-third recycled in the region in 2007.
The new consumer access report, “Plastic Recycling Collection: National Reach Study, 2012 Update,” stated that the number of communities collecting rigid plastics has increased substantially. Now more than 1,400 cities and 300 counties in the United States collect all rigid plastic containers in addition to plastic bottles.
The study also found that recycling accessibility in two key categories of rigid containers – high-density polyethylene (HDPE) rigid cups, tubs and containers and PET trays, clamshells and cups – now totals more than 60 percent. This means that the Federal Trade Commission will allow these containers to be labeled “recyclable” without further qualification.