Nearly a year and a half after the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers encouraged consumers to recycle their bottle caps, the Closure and Container Manufacturers Association has made its support publicly known.
The “Caps On” program is the result of a partnership between the two organizations that aims to make leaving lids and caps on plastic containers the norm.
The two trade associations are developing educational resources and are working with material recovery facilities as well as recycling haulers for support in the initiative.
Consumers were told for years to remove container lids, but now that recycling collection and processing technology have improved, the twist off is no longer necessary.
Growing demand in the domestic and import markets for recycled polypropylene and polyethylene has spurred the effort, according to reports of APR's member companies.
The market itself is now demanding that the materials be recovered, repurposed and recycled, the groups said.
“We want to assure recycling coordinators, MRF operators and other collectors of recyclables that plastics recyclers will process these bottles and recover the caps for recycling purposes,” APR's CEO and director, Steve Alexander, said in a joint news release issued by the groups.
Of course, some communities are not readily equipped to handle the changes and some MRFs may take longer to accept lids on containers.
“This is the beginning of a continued effort to increase the recovery of more plastic containers and enclosures,” said CCMA Chairman Jack Hoscheit. “It will not be a quick shift, but boosting plastic recycling rates is an important, ongoing commitment.”
APR started recommending in 2010 that consumers leave caps and lids on bottles and containers, to boost the amount of material collected and to avoid sending consumers conflicting messages.
CCMA is based in Barrington, Ill. APR is headquartered in Washington.