Collaborative industry report shows the availability of recycling in U.S.

Majority of Americans have access to recycling programs
August 08, 2016

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC; Charlottesville, VA) released a study showing that most Americans have access to recycling programs that accept beverage containers. Findings from the study, “2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling for Beverage Containers,” which had participation from SPI: The Plastics Trade Association (Washington, DC), showed the prevalence of recycling programs that accept beverage containers, including PET bottles/jugs & jars, aluminum beverage cans, glass beverage bottles and cartons.

According to the report, 92% of the U.S. population can recycle PET bottles/jugs & jars.

“It’s important to make recycling available to consumers. The more convenient we can make recycling for consumers, the more people will recycle,” said George Southworth, Director of Industry Affairs—RPPG & PMDAC at SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. “This study shows many Americans have the resources they need to recycle, so it’s up to us to keep educating and advocating for more effective recycling.”

The study further breaks down the availability of recycling by the type of recycling available and finds that 54% of U.S. residents have automatic/universal curbside recycling of PET bottles/jugs & jars, while the other curbside programs were opt-in, which is available to 6% of the population, and subscription which is available to 8% of the population.

 In total, 68% of U.S. residents have some sort of curbside recycling available. Drop-off programs were available to 24% of the US population and, when combined with the curbside recycling availability, totals 92% of all programs—curbside and its subsidiaries and drop-off programs—available to the U.S. population.

“This new study helps us to make a true assessment of the ease and availability of recycling by consumers across the country,” said Dan Mohs, Chairman and CEO of Placon Corp. “This report also serves as a contextual guide for brands who make claims about their recycling and sustainability efforts.”

This study was commissioned by the SPC and conducted by Resource Recycling Systems and Moore Recycling Associates. Other project sponsors included the Can Manufacturers Institute, Carton Council, Glass Packaging Institute, National Association for PET Container Resources and The Aluminum Association.

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