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

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

Coca-Cola closing its recycling division

October 30, 2014 3:50 pm ET

Beverage giant says it wants to work with suppliers    More

Image

Teknor Apex expands production of recycled nylon to Europe

October 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Materials firm Teknor Apex Co. is making its recycled nylon compounds available in Europe for the first time.    More

Image

Trex sets quarterly sales record with more business on tap

October 28, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Composite deck maker Trex Co. Inc. set sales and earnings records for the third quarter of 2014 and is on track to see revenue reach $388 million for ...    More

Image

Akro-Plastic buying German subsidiary from Metabolix

October 24, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Akro-Plastic GmbH, a Niederzissen, Germany-based plastic compounder, has purchased the assets of Metabolix Inc.'s subsidiary in Germany.    More

Image

German export sales strong, push for energy savings continues

October 24, 2014 12:34 pm ET

Germany is the engine that drives the European economy — and when it comes to the plastics industry, German machinery is a potent force, an expo...    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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

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

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

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

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events