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American Plastics Council endorses program to develop recycling markets.

In an effort to create and expand much-needed markets for recycled plastics and other recycled materials, the American Plastics Council (APC) has endorsed the Buy Recycled Business Alliance of the National Recycling Coalition (NRC).

The APC has produced and is distributing a "buy recycled" manual - entitled "Recycling Success via Purchasing" (RSVP) - to more than 2200 members of SPI. The manual is a detailed, step-by-step guide for implementing and managing an effective "buy recycled" program. In addition, it includes a 150-page resource document listing manufacturers and other sources of products that contain recycled materials.

The Buy Recycled Business Alliance is a business effort led by 25 U.S. companies that recently adopted a similar recycling venture. Terry Guerin, NRC's president, believes that the APC's "buy recycled" efforts will help reduce solid waste and alleviate the current recycling bottleneck. "The American Plastics Council was the first group to endorse the alliance in 1992 and has pledged their support for 1993. The NRC is working with all commodities to expand markets for recycled materials and welcomes the impact of the APC program to spur buy recycled' efforts in the plastics industry," Guerin says.

"Buy Recycled" is part of the APC's overall plan to implement an integrated solid waste management strategy. Among its other programs, the group has launched the following:

* Recycling demonstration projects - Thirteen communities in six areas of the U.S. are participating in the Plastics Recycling Demonstration Program. As cost data are developed and equipment is tested, this information is shared with communities through manuals, workshops, articles, and speeches to help them make cost-effective choices.

* Automatic sorting technologies - The APC has helped bring to commercialization two technologies for automatically sorting plastic bottles by resin type and color. These systems are now being tested in full-scale operations, where costs and efficiencies are being studied. Additional research focuses on the microsorting of different resins once the bottles and containers have been granulated into chips.

* Advanced recycling technologies - New technologies for plastics recycling are being examined through pilot projects that examine evolving recycling methods.

* Rate surveys and markets database - Twice each year, the APC conducts a comprehensive nationwide survey of handlers and reclaimers of post-consumer plastics. Information about their locations, specifications, and types of plastics handled is made available to communities and potential markets through the APC's toll-free hotline, (800) 2-HELP-90. The group is also the source of industry data on recycling rates and communities that include plastics in their collection programs. These studies are conducted annually.

* Commercial and institutional recycling programs - These programs examine improved collection and processing technologies for plastics generated by commercial and institutional sources, such as schools, hospitals, and businesses.

These programs, plus those being implemented by individual companies within the industry, have resulted in dramatic growth in the rate of plastics recycling over the past several years. Specifically:

* More than 4400 communities in the U.S. now include plastics in their recycling programs.

* The recycling rate for plastic bottles has increased from 5.6% in 1990 to 14% in 1991.

* The rate of post-consumer plastics packaging recycling increased 47% between 1990 and 1991.

* The recycling rate for plastic soft drink bottles increased from 19% in 1991 to 36% of all bottles manufactured.

The American Plastics Council, a joint venture with The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., has brought together the diverse interests of 27 companies within the plastics industry and has committed unprecedented resources to address the role of plastics in the environment.
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Title Annotation:Plastics Issues
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Plastics USA debuts in Chicago.
Next Article:SPI Composites Institute's 48th Annual Conference and Expo '93.

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