New Orleans — Insider lingo calls them post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastics. A bit of a mouthful. Average folks call them tubs and caps and lids and cups and the like.
Whatever the name, recycling of these plastic products spiked by 27 percent in 2014 in the United States, according to brand new statistics from the American Chemistry Council.
Unveiled Feb. 2 in conjunction with this year's Plastics Recycling Conference in New Orleans, the 2014 National Postconsumer Non-Bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling Report is the work of Moore Recycling Associates Inc., for the trade group and its plastics division.
The 27-percent jump from 2013 to 2014 translates into an additional 276 million pounds being recycled from one year to the next. A total of 1.28 billion pounds of the material were recycled in 2014, ACC reports.
“There's strong programs to grow rigid recycling. One of the big issues in the case of non-bottle rigids is we've seen that the material is very valuable and there are strong markets for it. We've seen collection of the material and access for the material grow dramatically,” said Keith Christman, managing director of plastics markets for ACC.
Increases in recycling programs as well as standardization of terminology surrounding the collection and recycling of these non-bottle rigids have both helped recycling numbers increase, he said.
“It helps communication. Helps make it easy for consumers and for people to recycle plastics beyond bottles,” Christman said.