December 20, 2018
APR's Response to 60 Minutes Piece on Plastic Waste
The recent 60 Minutes piece outlining the issues of plastic waste unfortunately failed to adequately address the impact that enhanced recycling can play in solving the issue. One fact is very clear, there are no sustainability solutions to plastic packaging that do not incorporate recycling as a key component. The Association of Plastic Recyclers, the leading international trade organization, works every day to bring technical and market based solutions to the issue of managing packaging waste. The APR’® Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability is among the most widely used reference documents across the globe that provides guidance to brand owners on how to design their packaging so it is compatible with recycling and does not act as a contaminant. The APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign focuses on expanding market utilization for recycled resins. Our testing protocols and guidance documents provide the global marketplace with assurance on the safety and consistency in the use of recycled resins in second use applications; and our regulatory efforts are focused on providing incentives to expand the collection and sortation infrastructure to handle the ever changing stream of material in the marketplace today.
While there are many challenges to plastic packaging, it is important to focus on preventing the material from entering the waste stream in the first place. Plastic recyclers want more material to recycle, but can only recycle what is collected,sorted,and made available to process. As an industry, plastics recycling is one of the most underutilized resources to deal with the issue of plastic packaging waste. To state it plainly, there is no sustainability to plastic packaging without recycling.
- Steve Alexander, APR President