Oregon to study ways to boost plastics recycling

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: September 10, 2013 3:31 pm ET
Updated: September 10, 2013 3:33 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability Public Policy
Companies & Associations

Oregon is planning an assessment of used plastic in an effort to determine whether recycling rates can be bolstered.

The state captures about 50 percent of its PET beverage containers, according to 2009 statistics from the Container Recycling Institute, thanks to a bottle bill.

But there is much more that could potentially be done in the wide variety of plastics, said Peter Spendelow, recycling specialist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

“When we look at all the plastics out there, obviously massive amounts are not being recycled, that we don’t have any program to collect for whatever reason,” he said.

So the state is currently accepting proposals for an examination of the state’s plastics disposal and recovery efforts.

The idea is to help determine what can be done to increase plastics recycling across the spectrum.

“We thought it would be a good idea to look at that to see what are the barriers stopping us from recycling things,” Spendelow said. “We know there are a lot of things that make some things difficult to recycle. We thought maybe there are things we could be getting more of, things like polypropylene and products, for instance. We just don’t have a lot of product recycling. It’s mainly packaging recycling. So that’s what we want to investigate.”

The plastics disposal and recycling study will be conducted as part of a larger Plastics Recovery Assessment Project the state has initiated. Oregon’s closer look at plastics comes as the state adopted a vision and framework for action for materials management in 2050.

“There’s a lot of potential to get a lot more plastic. It also is very possible that we will simply determine there is a good reason a lot of this stuff isn’t being collected because there’s so many different varieties that you can’t get enough of a single type other than the general commodity plastics that are currently being recycled,” Spendelow said.

“We do a very decent job, a great job on recycling PET bottles,” he said, adding the state also does a decent job recycling rigid plastic containers compared with other states.

But Oregon wants to examine all of the plastics that are making their way into landfills to see if there is a way to increase diversion.

“We’re not quite sure exactly what it’s going to look like,” Spendelow said, as results of the assessment will help determine what actions the state will take.

“We’re trying to look at materials beyond just the normal solid waste end of life, looking at them over their whole life cycle,” he said.


Comments

Oregon to study ways to boost plastics recycling

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: September 10, 2013 3:31 pm ET
Updated: September 10, 2013 3:33 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ford moving forward in carbon fiber for 'high volume' use

April 17, 2015 10:21 am ET

Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal with a carbon-fiber manufacturer to jointly explore “high-volume” automotive uses for the lightweight...    More

Image

Thailand's Royal Group adding thermoforming plant in Indiana

April 17, 2015 11:17 am ET

Royal Interpack North America Inc. is spending $12 million to make recycle-content PET clamshell containers in Anderson, Ind.    More

Image

Zoltek expanding CF capacity in Europe

April 17, 2015 10:12 am ET

Leading carbon fiber group Zoltek Corp. has signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government to expand its operation in northern Hungary,...    More

Image

Hanwha Azdel adds capacity in Lynchburg

April 16, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Composite maker Hanwha Azdel Inc. will add space and a new production line at its Lynchburg, Va., production facility, the company announced April 16.    More

Image

Denmark's Faerch Plast looks to expand packaging market beyond Europe

April 16, 2015 10:52 am ET

Denmark-based Faerch Plast A/S, a food packaging company, has announced it plans to target Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, the U.S., Canada, ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events