In an article published on March 18, 2019, news provider Plastic News reported on discussions from their Executive Forum held on March 5, 2019 in Naples, Florida. The ongoing low collection rates of plastics for recycling in the U.S., particularly of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), were highlighted as being of particular concern. “We can’t live with a 30 percent [PET bottle] collection rate across the country,” said Leon Farahnik, CEO of PET recycling company CarbonLite Industries LLC.
Robert Daviduk of packaging producer rPlanet Earth commented on the success of increased collection rates after some states added a deposit tax to bottles, however Scott Saunders from KW Plastics Recycling mentioned that “soft drink companies and cities and [material recovery facilities] are fighting deposit bills. The soft drink people spend more on fighting deposits than they do on sustainability.” In order to meet a targeted 35% post-consumer material “set by some consumer products companies,” Daviduk says the U.S. will need to increase its PET collection rate to around 70%. Farahnik also called for examples of successful recycling to be spotlighted. “People need to see where recycling works and why it works. We need to get the message out there because it’s not getting out loud enough.”
Frank Esposito (March 19, 2019). “Challenges remain for US recycling.” Plastics News