Let's talk about bottles.
Recycling is at an interesting point in the U.S. On one hand, you've got major brands such as Coca-Cola Co. and Nestle pledging to move to 100 percent recycled PET. (And to top those bottles, post-consumer high density polyethylene is going into caps made by Berry Global Group Inc. and Coke's Dasani brand.)
On the other hand, virgin PET is cheap, which means that post-consumer recycled material isn't the best "business" choice if you're just counting pennies.
Consumers aren't financially rewarded for recycling, except in those few areas with a bottle bill, and even then a lot of bottles aren't covered by deposit systems.
So what's a company to do? Independently, of course, even a company the size of Coca-Cola can't create the infrastructure for recycling. California will require 50 percent recycled content in beverage bottles by 2030, but it isn't setting up any new way to collect or process PET.
So industry leaders are trying to figure out how to support the recycling process, as Plastics Industry Association CEO Tony Radoszewski said in an interview with PN's Steve Toloken.
"It would have a fair funding mechanism so that the infrastructure can be built, research can continue and technology is developed that will hopefully dramatically increase recycling rates of plastic and to find the materials that are best for secondary use," Radoszewski said.