Tips and Tools
Communicating recycling information about your recycling program, clearly and simply can help increase participation and grow recovery rates.
Collecting “all plastic bottles” is an excellent way to achieve higher recovery rates for plastic bottles, especially PET and HDPE, and reduce unwanted contaminants in your program at the same time.
An “all plastic bottle” collection program makes it easier for consumers to recycle their plastic bottles. Consumers want to recycle their plastics but the resin identification code can be confusing. In some cases the code is difficult to locate on a bottle. In addition, the resin identification code is most often omitted on wide mouth containers and some films, prompting consumers to ask why these aren’t recycled in their curbside or drop-off program. While some municipal programs do collect containers and plastic grocery bags along with other recyclables, many programs do not, or they collect these materials separately, as in the case of grocery bag collection. Educating the public to Check the Neck℠ targets plastic bottles specifically, making it easier for consumers, which in turn can increase participation and reduce contamination from unwanted plastics.
By asking for all plastic bottles, a program can recover higher volumes of PET and HDPE. This is because 95 percent of all plastic bottles produced are PET and HDPE, so when the volume of plastic bottles goes up overall, this typically drives an increase in volume for both PET and HDPE. There are many plastic bottles that are used in the home and on the go. At home, many of these bottles can be collected from the bath, kitchen, or pantry; on the go, bottles can be collected from outings, sports events, or the car. If your program asks for ‘all plastic bottles’ you can help to recover these bottles that might otherwise be thrown away.
All Bottle Statistics
Communities want to make informed decisions before making any changes to their recycling programs. Before considering a switch to an “all plastic bottles” program, it is important to examine the results and experiences from other communities and to make decisions based on careful analysis of expected outcomes. Several communities have shared “before” and “after” collection data as part of a research effort undertaken by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council in 1999. These results were published in a Resource Recycle article entitled, “Breaking Bottlenecks in Plastic Bottle Recovery.”
All plastic bottle programs have become popular with a growing number of U.S. communities over the past decade because the educational message of looking for the “neck” of a bottle instead of the numerical bottle code is easier for consumers to understand and follow. According to surveys conducted by Resource Recycling Magazine for the American Chemistry Council’s Plastic Division, all plastic bottle programs have grown from approximately 1200 programs in 1999 to over 2000 programs in 2006.
Furthermore, recycling program coordinators can learn from examples of other “all bottles” communities by talking with their peers who have implemented programs within the last five years.
All Plastic Bottles Sponsors:
|The American Beverage Association (ABA) (formerly the National Soft Drink Association) is the premier trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute alcohol free beverages in the United States. ABA’s members produce, market, and distribute more than 95 percent of the soft drinks in the US market. ABA has been a long-time supporter of curbside recycling efforts across the country. We believe that the “All Bottles” collection message is the best method to maximize capture of plastic bottles from households served by curbside recycling programs.”|
|The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is the national trade association representing companies who acquire, reprocess and sell the output of more than 90% of the post-consumer plastic processing capacity in North America. Its membership includes independent recycling companies and organizations committed to the plastics recycling industry. It strongly advocates the recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging.|
|The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) is the trade association for the PET plastic industry in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1987, NAPCOR’s mission is to facilitate PET plastic recycling and to promote usage of PET packaging.PET plastic is the type of plastic with the #1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers and is commonly used to package products such as soft drinks, water, juice, sports drinks, condiments, salad dressings and oils, tennis balls, cosmetics and household cleaners.|
|The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with state and federal governments, in concert with the IBWA Model Code, to set stringent bottled water standards for safe, high quality products.IBWA is an enthusiastic advocate of curbside recycling and proud to support the “All Bottles” program. With the “all bottles” approach, IBWA is confident that this initiative will increase recovery and recycling of beverage and other consumer product containers.|
|Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) is the world’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 42 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.|
|Keep California Beautiful (KCB) is a nonprofit environmental education organization, chartered by the state of California in 1990. By actively developing and coordinating business, government and public partnerships, KCB encourages grassroots responsibility for California’s environment by promoting cleanup, beautification, recycling and waste reduction efforts.|