I was both disappointed and dismayed by the tone and content of the Plastics News article on film and bag recycling [“New data shows bag, film recycling stalls,” March 22, Page 7]. Specifically, your story misrepresents the information found in the “2008 National Postconsumer Recycled Plastic Bag and Film Report,” a report that my organization prepared on behalf of the American Chemistry Council. Plastics News did not contact my organization or American Chemistry Council before writing this article.
While modest, plastic bag and film recycling did continue to grow during 2008, in the midst of a global recession. The amount of material available to be recycled dropped, while the amount of material recycled increased. This is a significant achievement that is far from, as [the story] put it, “grinding to a halt.”
During the fourth quarter of 2008, the market for all raw materials, including all types of recyclables, collapsed. According to the EPA, overall recycling dropped by 2.7 percent in 2008. Film was no exception to the pricing collapse, yet, unlike other scrap materials, there was growth in the amount of plastic film and bags collected for recycling.
The Plastics News article questions the report's assertion that collection programs continued to grow in 2008. Our assertion of growth stems, in part, from tracking programs listed on www.PlasticBagRecycling.org, another joint project of Moore Recycling Associates and the American Chemistry Council. The Web site lists well over 15,000 plastic film and bag drop-off locations in all 50 states. For example, in 2009, ACC helped establish 133 new collection programs through just two pilot programs that Moore Recycling was involved with in Lake County, Ill., and Orange County, N.C.
It is important to report information in context — in this case the recession and drop in sales. Regrettably, the article did not give this context, which is a huge disservice to the plastics recycling industry, and film and bag generators. Plastic bag and film recycling is strong and growing!
Moore Recycling Associates Inc.