A new report from industry groups said the overall plastic bottle recycling rate in the United States dropped slightly to 28.4 percent in 2019, highlighting the need for additional investment in the sector.
A June 18 report from the Association of Plastic Recyclers and the American Chemistry Council said that in the aggregate the amount of plastic bottles, other rigid containers and film collected for recycling declined by 27 million pounds, or 0.5 percent, in 2019.
"Flat or declining recycling rates are a sign that the system needs support," said APR President and CEO Steve Alexander. "Declines in mature recycling streams, such as PET and HDPE bottles make brand company commitments to increased recycled content even more challenging.
"There are many opportunities to support continued growth in film and nonbottle rigid recycling as well as turn the course for bottles by focusing on what recyclers need to succeed as they are the engines of the circular economy," he said in a statement. "Our modes of commerce and consumption are changing and our system of recovering resources must change, too. Collection of quality material is essential for recyclers to produce quality feedstock at lower environmental and economic costs."