[GRRN] All Bottle approach to plastic bottle recovery

From: Pat Franklin (CRI@Container-Recycling.org)
Date: Wed Sep 06 2000 - 15:26:56 EDT

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    Thanks to those who took the time to respond to my email RE: All bottle

    My apologies to anyone on the list(s) not interested in All Plastic Bottle
    Recycling. I think it's an issue worth discussing, soooo, I am forwarding
    some of the comments I received from my original question which is at the
    end of the responses.


    PS I hope the folks who sent me emails don't mind my sending them on to the

    From: "Doug Koplow" <koplow@indecon.com>
    To: <CRI@Container-Recycling.org>
    Cc: <anderson@msn.fullfeed.com>
    Subject: Re: [GRRN] All Bottle approach to plastic bottle recovery


    Peter Anderson has been looking at this issue from the perspective of
    contamination and downgrading of the plastics stream. One other element
    that is also relevant is that of pickup capacity. To the extent that all
    bottles approaches drive up the tons of plastic recovered for disposal
    rather than reprocessing, the recycling vehicles will fill up more quickly
    with what is essentially trash.

    Good luck with your research & please keep the NRC Policy Workgroup (via
    Peter) apprised of your findings.


    Doug Koplow

    Doug Koplow
    Earth Track, Inc.
    2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
    Cambridge, MA 02140
    Tel: 617/661-4700
    Fax: 617/354-0463
    E-mail: koplow@indecon.com
    From: Amy Perlmutter <amyp@chelseacenter.org>
    Subject: All Plastic Bottle Recycling

    My concern about all bottles-- or asking folks to recycle anything that
    ultimately gets landfilled-- is that when the public finds out, which they
    will, they will not understand why it is getting disposed after all their
    efforts to separate and help the environment, and it might actually create
    a backlash where they will not recycle at all anymore. I don't know if
    it's worth the 10% more HDPE and PET for that risk.

    From: "Woody Raine" <WRAINE@tnrcc.state.tx.us>
    To: <CRI@Container-Recycling.org>
    Subject: Re: 'All Bottle' Recovery


    And then there's the approach considered by a few cities in Texas and soon
    to be implemented by the City of Waco (pop. ~100K)--recover only fiber curbside.

    Because of the cost of sorting, processing, and shipping glass, metal, and
    plastic containers, the City decided to keep it simple and go for a
    single-stream collection of only recyclable paper from households as they
    kick-off their curbside recycling service next month. For them this is the
    simplest way to provide a curbside service:
    * Simplest collection--using single-compartment garbage trucks
    * Simplest processing--light sorting & baling by an existing paper packer in

    No glass even though the state's largest glass bottle plant is in Waco.
    (Glass is beneficiated to be furnace-ready cullet in only Dallas and
    Houston, which are >250 mile roundtrip.)

    No plastic even though plastic prices have risen steadily.

    No metal despite steady demand by local scrap dealers.

    Instead these materials will continued to be collected at drop-off centers.

    W. Woody Raine
    Recycling Market Specialist
    PO Box 13087 MC112
    Austin, Texas 78711-3087

    fax: 512-239-6763
    From: Marjorie Haizlip, PR/PE Coord.
    Subject: All Plastic Bottle Recycling


    I have basically only anecdotal evidence about the collection of plastic
    bottles. Four years ago we expanded the curbside collection program in Wayne
    County, New York, to include all hard plastic containers, #1 - #7. Pick up is
    every other week at all houses in the County (pop. 100,000).

    Our pass-through amount at the MRF remains around 4%, but the quantity of #1
    & #2
    plastic has geometrically increased. As you know, NY is a bottle bill state, so
    we see very few soda bottles. We do collect the water and "new age" beverage

    Marjorie Haizlip, PR/PE Coord.
    Western Finger Lakes
    Solid Waste Management Authority
    Lyons, NY 14489

    From: Brenda Platt <bplatt@ilsr.org>
    Subject: Re: All Bottle approach to plastic bottle recovery


    NSDA's press release didn't address what happens with bottles that are
    collected but for which no local markets exist or how PVC bottles may
    contaminant loads.

    Brenda A. Platt
    Director, Materials Recovery
    Institute for Local Self-Reliance
    2425 18th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20009
    Ph (202) 232-4108 fax (202) 332-0463
    Web: <http://www.ilsr.org>
    From: RESRECYCLE@aol.com
    Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 18:15:55 EDT
    Subject: Re: [GRRN] All Bottle approach to plastic bottle recovery
    To: CRI@container-recycling.org

    Pat: There's a growing volume of data on all-bottles recycling efforts,
    given that the typical program in B.C., Washington, Oregon, etc. collect
    these containers. My rough estimate is that as many as 200 communities are
    doing all bottles. A general summary might look like this: making a #1/#2
    program go to all-bottles doesn't affect collection too much if any (it adds
    maybe 25-30 percent more plastics, the majority of which are PET and HDPE);
    processing costs rise, although there are a growing number of domestic and
    foreign firms buying totally mixed bales (obviously targeting the PET/HDPE);
    PVC bottle markets are a bit stronger now (PVC bottle-resin use at maybe 185
    million pounds per year is the major non-PET or HDPE resin); many of the
    plastics that might become residue in an all bottles scheme are collected
    anyway in a typical 1s and 2s program. In all, I look at one key factor:
    Communities that go with the all-bottle approach (just as those that go with
    the all-paper approach) don't change back. So I suspect that all bottle
    programs, soon to be endorsed (probably) by NSDA, APR, APC, NAPCOR, etc., are
    just another workable option for communities trying to boost recovery levels
    a little bit. Just as you suggest, I suspect the bigger issue is how to
    develop effective recovery systems for plastics generated outside the home.


    Resource Recycling
    P.O. Box 42270
    Portland, OR 97242-0270
    (503) 233-1305, 233-1356 (fax)
    www.resource-recycling.com (Web site)
    From: Steve Apotheker

    -there was a recent article in _Resource Recycling_ on this subject... (the
    article Steve is referring to was June 2000 "Breaking bottlenecks in plastic
    bottle recovery")
    The original message that went out on GreenYes was. . . . . . . .

    I'd be interested in feedback on the 'all bottle' approach to recycling
    plastic bottles through curbside recycling programs. NSDA endorsed this
    approach in a press release (Aug 30, 2000). I don't doubt that this would
    increase the total number of plastic bottles recovered, and maybe even
    increase PET and HDPE bottle recovery, but at what cost?

    Has anyone seen any data comparing costs and PET bottle recovery of all
    bottle programs to PET and HDPE only programs? The release states that APC
    reports a 10 percent increase in PET and HDPE bottles, but I wonder how many
    tons of bottles of other resin types are collected through curbside programs
    and then landfilled.

    The 'all bottle' curbside approach still doesn't address the problem of the
    plastic soda (and other beverage) bottles consumed away from home. I don't
    know exactly what percent that is but I would think it would be the majority.



    Pat Franklin, Executive Director
    Container Recycling Institute
    1911 Ft Myer Drive, Suite 900
    Arlington, Virginia 22209
    703/276-9800 fax 276-9587
    email: CRI@Container-Recycling.org

    Here's the NSDA Press Release. . . . .

    (Washington, DC) – The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) announced its
    support for the "All Bottles" concept of curbside recycling, a program
    developed by the American Plastics Council (APC) to maximize recovery of
    plastics from curbside recycling programs .

    "Soft drink bottles, beginning with the two liter container, have been a
    part of curbside collection programs since their inception," said Will Ball,
    President of NSDA. "All of the plastic bottles distributed by our
    members--whether for soft drinks, juices, water, or sports drinks--are
    recyclable. The "All Bottles" concept is the most effective way to get this
    message across. Many other household products, such as salad dressing,
    peanut butter, and shampoo are now packaged in plastic bottles. This
    program, with simple and straightforward message, is the best way to get the
    most recyclable material from consumers’ households."

    An estimated 20 percent of curbside recycling programs in the United States
    use an "All Bottles" message for plastics. The other eighty percent
    generally ask for plastics by resin code, usually numbers one and two. This
    can cause confusion with consumers, because many of the non-bottle
    containers made from these resin types, such as margarine tubs and yogurt
    containers, are not recyclable. Curbside program operators and consumers who
    have switched to the "All Bottles" message prefer its simplicity.

    According to APC, programs that have changed to an all bottles message have
    increased their capture of HDPE and PET bottles by more than 10 percent.

    NSDA will participate in efforts to persuade municipal recycling
    coordinators to adopt all bottle programs as the best way to maximize the
    amount of plastic recovered through curbside recycling.

    Soft drink containers continue to be America’s most recycled package. In
    1999 more than 52 billion cans and bottles were recycled by America’s soft
    drink consumers.


    Pat Franklin, Executive Director
    Container Recycling Institute
    1911 Ft Myer Drive, Suite 900
    Arlington, Virginia 22209
    703/276-9800 fax 276-9587
    email: CRI@Container-Recycling.org

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