The Association of Plastic Recyclers

September 16, 2020 - Waste Dive



September 16, 2020 - Waste Dive

APR in the News

Long Beach, California, revamps recycling to focus on plastics by item type, not resin numbers

Long Beach, California, has dropped many #3-7 plastics from curbside collection. Instead, the city is introducing an item-specific recycling program that avoids using numeric designations and directs residents to recycle specific types of items such as milk jugs, water bottles and cereal boxes.

Though Long Beach might be one of the latest of multiple cities to drop certain plastics in response to changing international trade rules, the size of the national shift away from plastics #3-7 in particular is overstated, said Association of Plastic Recyclers President Steve Alexander. Still, if communities and businesses are finding no buyers for various materials, he recognized something needs to change. Instead of phasing out resins because of lacking markets, Alexander said it’s important to build up those customer bases — possibly with brand commitments to use more post-consumer resins. Technology to improve sorting methods is another priority.

Alexander also thinks brands could do a better job of designing packaging for recycling. APR's design guide exists to make this kind of planning easy for manufacturers, which sometimes churn out options that may confuse consumers. “When you get a container with a foil lid and plastic container, or a plastic bottle and aluminum cap, who is to know what to do?” said Alexander.

Read the full article from Waste Dive.

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