Demand for recycled plastics is a key to increasing the amount of material that gets reused, according to the Association of Plastic Recyclers.
Without demand, recyclers are just processing unwanted material.
So the trade group takes special effort to recognize companies through its APR Recycling Demand Champions program.
The latest winners are: restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, shipping supplies maker EcoEnclose, and lawn and garden products firm Scotts Miracle-Gro.
"Increased and reliable market demand is key to the success of plastics recycling, and the need for investment in domestic recycling infrastructure is more necessary today than it has ever been," Liz Bedard, director of APR's Rigid Plastics Recycling Program, said in a statement.
"Growing, dependable markets can facilitate that investment. If reclaimers have a reliable market they can feel confident investing in their facilities, offer a better price for recycled resin, and pay MRFs a better price for bales. In turn MRFs can also feel confident making the investment to increase supply and create cleaner bales," she said.
Companies must purchase or manufacture post-consumer recycled resin containing items and report those activities to APR.
Each year in October, APR releases combined totals of that increased demand created by the program. Information from individual companies is kept confidential.
"The first year of the program alone resulted in 6.8 million additional pounds of post-consumer resin in the marketplace. We look forward to seeing that number continue to rise as additional companies sign on and honor their commitments," APR President Steve Alexander said in a statement.
There now are about 30 companies participating in the program.