Plastic Recycling Guide for Sustainable Companies

Submitted by Donna Fiedler on

container packaging

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world, especially in industries like food packaging. In the U.S., the plastic industry employs approximately one million workers, and contributes around $375 billion to the economy. Plastic is one of the most popular materials to use in container packaging due to its versatility and ease of disposal. A 2011 study found that 94% of Americans now have access to plastic bottle recycling, and an additional 40% are able to recycle other plastic containers. Customers like to see a company take their part in sustainability, which is why many are being pushed to create a comprehensive recycling plan. Here's a quick guide to the different kinds of plastics that your company can recycle.

What's Accepted
Generally speaking, any product that is considered non-durable can be recycled. Plastic products with a useful life of less than three years are, and are commonly used in packaging. However, thanks to modern recycling strides, more ridged plastics are now recyclable.

Recyclable items include:

  • Bottles and Jugs
  • Cups
  • Medical container packaging
  • Yogurt Containers
  • Eating utensils
  • Sporting and recreational equipment

What's Not Accepted
There are a few instances where plastic products cannot be recycled. For one, the plastic must be clean in order to be recycled. A dirty product can contaminate an entire batch, which can contain thousands of pounds of plastic. The best way to know which types of plastics aren't recyclable is to look for community guidelines, as every area has their own rules.