Plastic recycling up in 2008

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported last week that US recycling of non-bottle rigid plastics such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) tubs, polypropylene (PP) cups and other food containers, and durable items such as crates, carts, buckets and electronic casings, was up 11% to 0ver 361 million pounds in 2008 compared in 2007.

ACC said much of the recycled material was used to manufacture new products such as pallets, crates, composite lumber and gardening items. Drivers for the increase include growing curbside recycling programs as well as strong plastic scrap prices in the first quarter of 2008.

I’m pretty sure scrap prices were down in 2009 so I wonder how recycling went last year….

For post-consumer plastic bottle recycling that includes HDPE, PP and polyethylene terepthalate (PET), ACC reported that the total plastic bottle recycling rate in 2008 reached a record-high 2.4 billion pounds at 27%, up from 24.4% in 2007. PET bottles collected increased by 55 million pounds while HDPE bottles rose by 16.1 million to 936.7 million pounds. PP bottle recycling totaled 21.2 million pounds, reports ACC.

PET and HDPE bottles continue to account over 96% of the U.S. plastic bottle market and over 99% of the bottles recycled.

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