A group called Recycle More Bags is calling for government-mandated recycled content in plastic garbage and grocery bags.
The group, which includes more than two dozen member organizations, wants a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content by 2025 in both the United States and Canada.
Recycle More Bags currently has 27 members, including governmental entities, companies and environmental groups associated with the plastics recycling sector.
That list includes the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries trade group and Erema Group GmbH, a maker of plastics recycling equipment. Consulting firm More Recycling, well-known in the industry, also has signed on.
"We believe recycled content mandates are a direct, market-driven approach to encourage the growth of the recycling industry," the group said on its website. "While some stakeholders in the industry have advocated for voluntary recycled content commitments, they are an unlikely driver for real change.
"Some companies may choose to use recycled plastic to meet their corporate social responsibility goals of reducing waste or carbon emissions, but those goals often take a back seat to the financial bottom line," it said.
The group wants a "progressive timeline" to increase post-consumer content. For garbage bags, the proposal is 10 percent by 2020, 15 percent by 2022 and 20 percent by 2024. For grocery bags, the proposal is 10 percent by 2021, 15 percent by 2023 and 20 percent by 2025.
"If we are serious about the circular economy, we need to use recycled content in everyday products," Martin Vogt, CEO of plastics recycler EFS-plastics Inc. of Listowel, Ontario, a member of Recycle More Bags, said in a statement. "Using recycled content in items like garbage bags and grocery bags allows companies like EFS-plastics to invest in additional capacity, so we can recycle more bags domestically."