- Patty Moore, president of Moore Recycling Associates, told attendees of the 2016 ISRI Annual Convention that while post-consumer plastics' value is down, recycling these fast-growing materials addresses two ongoing, hot issues: carbon emissions and litter that pollutes oceans and destroys marine life.
- "I remain very confident that recycling will continue to play a major role in our waste management and recycling strategies and in our sustainable materials management strategies," she said, as reported in Plastics News. "I am an eternal optimist, I don’t think I could be in this industry if I wasn't optimistic."
- Nina Bellucci Butler, managing director of Moore Recycling, highlighted positive growth, including how flexible film recycling has shown expansion to more than 90% of the US population via more than 18,000 drop-off locations. And the demand for the lightweight, pliable material is growing, especially among film and sheet makers with the supply coming from post-commercial sources rather than post-consumer ones.
End-of-life plastics can create problems, putting pressure on recyclers who have to compete with cheap virgin resin prices. Furthermore, some of the more specialized and engineered plastics like film cannot be put out for curbside recycling. But these materials present much bigger problems if they are just tossed on landfills or streets.
"Recycled material greatly reduces carbon emissions when used. It’s pretty dramatic. So if a company wants to reduce its carbon footprint, this is one of the ways they can do it very quickly," said Moore, as reported in Plastics News. "Maybe not so easily, but certainly, it is a dramatic drop."
As far as the marine debris issues, studies show there are about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s seas. But, said Moore, what’s going on in the oceans is a land-based issue "that requires implementation of land-based waste management practices, and these practices will not be implemented without recycling as part of them."