The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) reported that in 2012, more than 1 billion lbs. of post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastics were recovered. This is more than double the amount recycled in 2009. Between 1950 and 2012, the global production of plastics grew at an average rate of 8.7 percent annually and all indications point to continued growth.
The upward trend has caused an increased interest and involvement with plastics waste among recycling professionals. In fact, it prompted ISRI – an organization built upon the scrap metal industry — to create a Plastics Council. A review of ISRI members done within the past two years, lists 277 companies that specifically mention “PLASTICS” in their profile (the actual number is believed to be higher). Of course there are some challenges to the plastics recycling industry, including the complexity of sorting and processing.
Take a look at ISRI’s recently released FAQ sheet of plastics recycling facts and learn why “It is incumbent upon all of us to educate manufacturers about the merits of using plastics made from scrap and for those same manufacturers to Design for Recycling® , giving due consideration during the design stage to their products end-of-life.”
In addition, in January of 2014, ISRI published Guidelines for Plastic Scrap –Baled Recycled Plastic Scrap Commercial Guidelines (page 39) that were developed to provide industry-wide quality standards.
Our next article will discuss the updates that ISRI made to its scrap plastics specifications.