Plastic film and bag recycling in the US is on the increase, jumping 14% in 2010 to 971.8 million pounds, according to a new report.
The annual increase is the first of more than 3% since 2006.
"We are excited about the dramatic jump,” said Keith Christman, managing director of plastics markets for the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
"The communication is getting out that plastic bags can be recycled. A lot more bags have messages on them that say ‘bring it back,'” he said.
However, Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, said the percentage increase was misleading.
"By every measure, plastic bags remain a recycling failure,” Murray said.
"The reported growth in plastic bag recycling volume of 27 million pounds from 2009 to 2010 was completely swamped by the [Environmental Protection Agency's] reported 220 million pound growth in plastic bag generation during the same period,” he said.
"The volume of plastic bags generated and disposed grew by a substantially greater volume than recycling in 2010,” Murray added.
The amount of plastic bags and film collected in 2010 jumped 14% from nearly 854.4 million to 971.8 million pounds in 2010, according to data compiled by Moore Recycling Associates and released by ACC yesterday.
By comparison, the cumulative percentage increase the previous three years was just 5.2%, with yearly individual increases of 2.24% in 2007, 0.25% in 2008 and 2.64% in 2009.