Recently, I came across an article about Tess, a young girl from Minnesota, who started a recycling project called “Gimme 5” to collect rigid (#5) plastics. #5 plastics are typically used to make “rigid containers,” such as yogurt cups and cottage cheese and margarine tubs.
Tess started this project because her local recycling program did not accept these types of containers. She decided to take it upon herself (with the help of her mom) to collect rigid plastics and then take it to a nearby recycling center that held a “special” collection day for #5 plastics.
While Tess’ idea is highly commendable, not everyone takes this kind of initiative. That’s why the American Chemistry Council is working with the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers and local governments to help encourage local curbside programs to include rigid plastic containers. The good news is more and more cities are taking steps to provide this service. In fact, legislation that ACC supports would bring rigids recycling to New York City, and rigids were just added to the recycling program in 64 communities in Connecticut.
In 2008, a study by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. found that 63 percent of California households could recycle rigid plastics curbside and 28 of the 100 largest U.S cities in the US collected rigid plastics through curbside programs. While these numbers are encouraging, we believe even more can be done and welcome the opportunity to work with all stakeholders to expand recycling opportunities for a variety of different plastic packaging. To learn more, go to www.americanchemistry.com/plastics.
And to stay up to date on plastics recycling follow our recycling twitter handle @Recycle_Plastic at http://twitter.com/recycle_plastic.