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[GreenYes] Re: good questions on plastics recycling (there's no such thing as plastic)

Title: Re: [GreenYes] Re: good questions on plastics recycling (there's no such thing as plastic)
Mike’s suggestions for resources are the best. I would caution, as most recycling professionals do, that there really is no such thing as “plastic.” Plastics is a catch-all phrase for dozens of different petroleum-based resins. Each type has an entire economics and societal use and recycling application. PET and HDPE are the obvious resins to look at. PET seems to be particularly important these days since there’s been such an increase in consumption and discarding of single-use water bottles. Along these lines, talking to end-users is paramount — NAPCOR’s membership list is a place to start:

Also, Wellman, Inc. at

Obviously, there are a lot of packaging companies you can contact and packaging industry trade groups.

Hope this helps.
David Biddle, Executive Director
Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council
P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-247-3090 (desk)
215-432-8225 (cell)


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on 9/4/07 10:50 AM, Mike at giuranna.mike@no.address wrote:

Brenda, Joelle, I'd suggest checking out EPA Solid Waste
Characterization report, see
specifically pages 47-51 which have some of the plastics recycling
numbers you're asking about.   You should be able to get additional
information from Resource Recycling's "Plastics Recytcling Update",
You could also try contacting the association of Post Consumer
Plastics recycling at or NAPCOR ofr
PET information, see

On Aug 31, 6:27 pm, "Brenda Platt" <bpl...@no.address> wrote:
> Hi all,
> The email below from Joelle Novey at Co-Op America poses some excellent
> questions concerning recycling plastics.  Does anyone have data on this?
> either from a national perspective or from their local/state perspective?
> I'm very interested in this issue too, so please email Joelle and me
> directly on this.  Joelle is not on the listserv.
> Thanks in advance.
> Brenda
> --
> Brenda Platt
> Institute for Local Self-Reliance
> 927 15th Street, NW, 4th Fl
> Washington, DC  20005
> 202-898-1610 ext.
> *********************
> Brenda,
> I'm writing at the suggestion of Ann Leonard over at the Environmental
> Grantmakers. I'm writing from the publications department at Co-op
> America, where we're doing research for the next issue of the Co-op
> America Quarterly about waste and recycling issues.
> I'm hoping you can help because I'm having quite a hard time coming by
> any reliable numbers about what happens nationally to the plastics
> Americans "recycle."
> I would like to be able to tell our readers:
> 1. what percentage of the plastics in their recycling bins get rejected
> by the MRFs and are ultimately sent to a US landfill or incinerator.
> 2. Then, of those plastics recovered by the MRF and sold for
> "recycling," what percentage are shipped overseas? (To what countries?)
> 3. And then, of those that are sent to other countries, what percentages
> of these items are ultimately recycled into some other useful product
> rather than dumped?
> 4. If the numbers are very different for different grades of plastics,
> I'd be interested in those numbers too.
> I would really like to be able to tell our members what is happening to
> the plastics in their recycling bins -- where are these things going,
> and what is being done with them?  Can you recommend any reputable
> resources that have looked at this in a systematic way? I'll look
> forward to hearing from you!
> In cooperation,
> Joelle G. Novey, Editorial Associate
> joe...@no.address
> Co-op America: Economic Action for a Just Planet
> 1612 K St NW Washington DC 20006

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