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Plastic Film Recycling Tops One Billion Pounds for 2011

Plastic film recycling topped one billion pounds annually for the first time in 2011, increasing 4 percent, according to a new study.

The recycling of plastic film has increased 55 percent since 2005, according to a report compiled by Sonoma, Calif.-based Moore Recycling Associates Inc. for the Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC). Plastic film includes plastic bags, product wraps and commercial shrink film, according to a news release.

About 58 percent of U.S.-recovered postconsumer film was consumed domestically in 2011, an increase from 53 percent in 2010. That came mainly from growth in the plastic and composite lumber industry, the primary market for the material, according to the 2011 National Postconsumer Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Report.

“Reaching the one-billion-pound mark is an achievement that plastics makers, recyclers and retailers can be proud of, and we’re continuing to work together to get that number even higher,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for ACC.

“In-store collection is absolutely critical for recycling plastic bags, wraps and other flexible film packaging,” Russell added. “The infrastructure is there. The plastic film industry is now working to help grocers and retailers maximize the collection of this valuable material by sharing tools and best practices and through consistent customer education.”


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