Plastic makers and recyclers have invested billions of dollars to help support a nationwide infrastructure to recycle plastic packaging, and we continue to develop new, innovative programs to collect additional plastic products. More and more communities across the nation are turning to recycling as an effective way to help the environment and to prevent litter.
Plastic Is Too Valuable To Waste: It Belongs in the Recycling Bin
Plastic bags and wrap recycling also increased significantly. In 2011, an estimated one billion pounds of plastic bags and product wraps were recycled. That’s a 55% increase since 2005.
For example, in 2010 the total pounds of plastic bottles recycled reached a record high 2.6 million pounds in the United States. That’s an increase of 123 million pounds over 2008.
And nearly 820 million pounds of rigid household containers (e.g., plastic tubs, trays and lids) were recycled in the United States that year, a remarkable jump of 72% over 2009 and a 154% increase since 2007.
Today, more than 94 percent of U.S. households have access to a recycle plastic bottles—and 40 percent also can recycle other types of plastic containers, such as yogurt cups, dairy tubs and lids. Most large grocery stores—and many large retail chains—today offer bins to collect plastics bags and wraps for recycling. And there is a growing number of innovative plastic foodservice recycling programs across the country.