What’s the problem with plastic bags?
Last year, China suddenly banned the import of the world’s recyclables. Until this point, China had imported nearly half of the plastic bags collected for recycling in North America.
Hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic bags were collected for recycling in 2018 that had to be landfilled or incinerated due to lack of demand from end markets, according to a preliminary analysis by More Recycling.
How can we recycle more plastic bags?
Today’s challenges present the opportunity to re-imagine how we should manage materials that used to be shipped overseas.
To support the creation of local, long-term end-markets, we, the co-signatories of this call to action, are recommending government legislation and procurement policies to require 20% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in garbage bags and plastic carryout bags by 2025.
Recommended minimum recycled content in garbage bags:
10% by 2020
15% by 2022
20% by 2024
Recommended minimum recycled content in plastic carryout bags:
10% by 2021
15% by 2023
20% by 2025
Hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic bags are landfilled or incinerated in North America yearly due to lack of demand from end markets.
What we hope to achieve
We believe these recommended actions will help address several key issues. We believe commitments to a recycled content minimum will:
Lessen reliance on export markets for recyclables produced in North America,
Reduce carbon emissions by replacing the use of virgin plastic,
Reduce plastic litter by enhancing plastics’ value throughout its full life cycle, and
Boost the development of a lasting circular economy in North America.
Adding your organization’s name to our list will show policy makers that there is broad stakeholder support for requiring the use of recycled content in plastic bags. Join us today.