The recycling of non-bottle rigid plastics in the US leapt in 2010, rising 72% on a top of a near-33% gain in 2009, according to data released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
The rise in the recycling of items such as householder containers, carts, crates, buckets, toys, lawn furniture, tubs, lids, electronics and computer scrap boosted the amount of pounds of those materials collected in 2010 to almost 826.7 million pounds - more than double the 360.8 million pounds collected in 2008.
Approximately 29 percent, or 238.8 million pounds, of the non-bottle rigid plastics recycled in 2010 were made from HDPE, second only to polypropylene, which was 44%, or 363.4 million pounds, of the materials collected, according to the data compiled by Moore Recycling Associates and issued by the ACC earlier this week.
The report said that the biggest jump in materials collected, by resin type, was in the amount of PP collected. The amount of non-bottle rigid plastics PP collected virtually tripled in 2010, as it went from 27%, or roughly 129 million pounds, of the rigid plastics collected in 2009 to 363.7 million and 44% of the total in 2010.
“What that tells us is that there has been a large amount of polypropylene hiding in plain sight,” said Dave Cornell, technical director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers.
“But collecting the diverse end uses for versatile polypropylene is not simple, which explains why APR members have put in the time and effort to open a new area of postconsumer items for recycling.”
Earlier this week the ACC revealed a 14% increase in film and plastic bag recycling rates, the first annual increase of more than 3% since 2006.