Date: December 2, 2020
Source: News Room
Groups are increasingly calling on the recycling industry to play a role in improving the current state of plastics recycling. A California based non-profit, As You Sow, recently produced a report outlining the current state of plastic recovery and end markets. The report is intended as a roadmap for consumer product companies that manufacture plastic goods or employ plastic packaging. Republic Services has also issued a report on the state of its plastic recycling.
In the Republic Services report, the company finds that about 12 percent of all the plastics they take in, which accounts for about 7.7 percent of total waste volumes, ends up in landfills. This report has come after the company recently consolidated their recycling facilities, although they contend that this consolidation has not impacted total volume processed. As You Sow and Republic Services both support increased responsibility on producers to make goods that incorporate more recyclable materials, but As You Sow also views the recycling industry as bearing some responsibility. A representative from As You Sow has questioned why the firm still takes in plastics that it knows it cannot recycle. Republic Services maintains that non-recyclable plastics account for less than 1% of total material handled.
Overall, the recycling industry's position on stronger recycling policies has changed over the last year with many waste management firms beginning to support such policies. As pressure on companies to "up the ante" on recycling practices is likely to increase over the next year, it will be interesting to watch how producers and waste management companies respond.
Republic Services: Advancing Plastics Recycling through Investment, Innovation and Education:
As You Sow: Republic Services Issues Recycling Report Requested by Investors: