I'm in the process of working my way back to Milwaukee from Charlotte where I attended the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers
' (APR) Fall Meeting. OK, I admit not your typical cocktail party conversation, but let me tell you these guys are doing some great things to increase the amount of plastic being recycled.
The days of only being able to recycle those products with a resin code of #1 or #2 are fading in most communities. It is a growing trend to be able to throw all plastic containers & closures into your recycle bin. In addition tubs & trays, such as yogurt cups are becoming more commonly accepted. APR has made a concerted effort to help make this happen.
Another push which will likely increase recycling rates is the push to a single stream for recyclable materials
. As with the broadened range of resin codes accepted, single stream if not currently in your community is likely coming soon.
My visit to the APR's meeting was in combination with the Closure & Container Manufacturers Association
(CCMA.) One of CCMA's major efforts right now is to find ways to increase cap & closure recycling. We've found there are a lot of mixed messages out there. Do you leave the cap on the bottle or do you take it off before recycling?
The message for years said take it off. In reality, that's the exact opposite thing we should be doing. Whether it is a polyethylene or polypropylene closure, there is a market for recycled closures. You'll be seeing a big push in the coming months to Leave the Cap On!
Next time you recycle a plastic bottle, be sure to screw that closure back on top & throw it into your recycle bin.