ACC Reports Jump in Recycling of Non-Bottle Rigid Plastics

The American Chemistry Council has released a report highlighting the sharp increase in the collection and recycling of post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastics in the United States.

The report, prepared by Moore Recycling Associates Inc., found that in 2009, nearly 480 million pounds of post-consumer rigid plastics were collected for recycling nationwide, an increase of nearly 33 percent from 2008 and a 47 percent increase since 2007.

Non-bottle rigid plastics includes nondurable items such as high-density polyethylene tubs, polypropylene (PP) cups and similar food containers and durable items, such as pallets, crates, carts, five-gallon buckets and electronic housings.

According to the report more plastics reclaimers have started processing non-bottle HDPE and PP containers to produce resin for new end products. The report also notes that due to the increased demand, more communities have added mixed rigid plastics to their collection programs.

Other findings in the report include the following:

•There has been an increase in the number of processors, end users and reclaimers of rigid plastics in 2009;

•in one year, there has been a 33 percent increase in the collection of non-bottle rigid plastics; and

•the number of communities offering rigid plastics recycling continues to increase.

“Recycling these valuable plastics not only keeps them out of landfills, but also helps close the loop, as these post-consumer materials go on to have a second life as useful products,” says Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the ACC.

The report is based on data supplied by 60 post-consumer plastic processors, end-users and exporters across the United States.

To access the full report, click on the hyperlink — 2009 National Post Consumer Report on Non-Bottle Rigid Plastics Recycling.

The recycling of plastic bottles is tracked separately. In 2009, plastic bottle recycling in the United States grew to nearly 2.5 billion pounds, marking two decades of year-over-year increases in this category. The full report, National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report, is available on


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