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APR News and Media

July 17, 2019

APR in the News

U.S. recycling of plastics will continue strong — no matter what China does

There are three way we can all help recycling in the U.S. work even better.

A recent opinion essay in the Chicago Sun-Times gave readers the impression that recycling in the United States is failing as a result of China’s ban on imported scrap material.

This is simply not true.

This country has an enormous and thriving recycling market.

In some places, that market is rebalancing to changing factors, including China’s new policy. But make no mistake: recycling works in the U.S. The majority of U.S. recyclables have always been processed right here in the U.S., and still are.

There are three ways we can all help recycling in the U.S. work even better:

  1. Recycle more effectively at home and at work. Find out what plastic and other products can be processed and what can’t. Facilities can only work with material they’re equipped to handle.
  2. Demand that the U.S. upgrade its sorting facilities. With improved technology and infrastructure, more material that’s currently headed for landfills can be captured and sold to recyclers.
  3. Create more demand for products made from recycled material. Consumer brands can use more post-consumer material in packaging and products, but will only commit to do so if we consumers are calling for it.

China’s ban is not an end to recycling. It is a wake-up call to all of us to redouble our commitment to help recycling play its part in the circular economy.

Read the full article from Chicago Sun Times here.