Plastic recycling rates are not as bad as people are being led to believe, the Association of Plastic Recyclers claims.
The trade group is out with a new report to give its perspective on the state of plastics recycling in the United States these days, saying residents are too often hit "with discouraging — and usually misleading — data points."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts plastic recycling at 9 percent overall and others say the numbers are even lower at 5 to 6 percent, APR said.
But, the group added, plastics such as water and soda bottles, laundry detergent bottles and food containers "do get recycled."
APR puts the recycling rate for PET, high density polyethylene and polypropylene at 21 percent, and 2020 data for PET and HDPE bottles was 28 percent.
The overall lower plastic recycling rates include "containers, packaging and durable goods meant to last many years as well as non-durable goods not intended for recycling like garbage bag," the report states.
APR is hosting a webinar at 2 p.m. eastern time Aug. 10 to discuss the report in more detail. Registration is available here.
"APR's state-of-the-industry report tells the true story of plastic recycling in the United States," APR CEO Steve Alexander said in a statement. "This is an industry that processed almost five billion pounds of post-consumer plastic material in 2020 despite a pandemic and related lockdown, and we have every expectation that number will continue to grow."
"Still, recycling numbers can, and should, be much higher, given that what we fail to recover is waste left for future generations to wade through," the report states.