Thursday, June 30th, 2016

SPI Participates in Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Study on the Availability of Recycling Programs Nationwide

People Holding Recycling Symbol and ConceptsSPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association is one of several organizations which funded a newly-released study organized by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), 2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling. The report examines the prevalence of consumer recycling programs across the United States and the roughly 50 types of packaging in those programs. Researchers evaluated recycling programs through public-facing program information from over 2,000 communities varying in size across the country.

The findings showed that 93 percent of U.S. residents living in communities with a population over 125,000 have recycling programs available to them. Other key findings include:

  • A majority of residents (73 percent) had curbside recycling, which can be further broken down to:
    • Automatic/Universal programs which are automatically provided to residents (53 percent)
    • Subscription programs which require resident subscription to participate, and often include fees(14 percent)
    • Opt-in programs which require residents to sign up to receive a recycling container or regular collection services (6 percent)
  • While 64 percent of the population had multiple options including drop off programs available, 21 percent of the population researched had only drop off programs

The significance of the study goes beyond the findings; it marks the beginning of more collaborative efforts and serves as the foundation for recycling growth by providing a baseline against which future studies can measure progress. This study also represents the confluence of multiple perspectives coming together to not only examine the past, but to determine what best practices to adopt and implement for the future.

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