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Post-consumer film recycling up 1 percent in 2012

By: Jim Johnson

April 3, 2014

There’s something about the number 1.02 billion when it comes to recycling plastics.

New word from the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council puts recycling of post-consumer film packaging at 1.02 billion pounds in 2012, a hike of 56 percent since 2005, but just 1 percent over 2011, the trade group said.

Moore Recycling Associates Inc. conducted a survey of 21 U.S. and Canadian processors and 39 exporters to come up with the latest data for the trade group.

“This report shows that even though film recycling had not grown as we had hoped last year, there is a lot of opportunity to make a difference with our programs,” said Shari Jackson, director of the Flexible Film Recycling Group of the ACC, in a statement.

The 1.02 billion pound figure follows last month’s release of details regarding non-bottle rigid plastics recycling in 2012. That category of recycling, again according to the Plastics Division of the ACC, also clocked in at 1.02 billion pounds in 2012, a 10-percent increase from 2011.

While the needle only moved slightly for overall film recycling, the trade group did see some encouraging signs when looking at the mix of recyclables found in the bales.

“We’re seeing that the majority of films collected for recycling are film product wraps and other film packaging. We’ve been working hard to educate people about their ability to recycle plastic film packaging beyond bags so it’s reassuring to see the bales reflect that our messaging is connecting and having an impact,” Jackson said in the statement.