WASHINGTON, D.C. — Matt Seaholm, President & CEO of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) released the statement below in observance of National Recycling Day, or America Recycles Day, the official national observance dedicated to promoting recycling across the United States:
“Recycling Day reminds us that without the actual process of recycling, we would head down the wrong path in the face of environmental challenges. Recycling is real and the plastics industry is committed to solutions in sustainability that reduce plastic waste.
“The plastics industry has invested billions of dollars into recycling technology in an effort to increase recycling rates with billions more announced, and we are proud to be part of the solution. While the recycling efforts of communities and business throughout the United States have helped with the success and growth of recycling rates, America can do better.
“The great news is that we are recycling billions of pounds of plastic every year and that number is only going up – but we need to recycle more. Working with other industries in the recycling stream, we need to make it easier for consumers to get more material to our recyclers and keep that valuable plastic in the economy instead of in a landfill.
“Plastic is a miracle material that saves lives, saves energy, saves food stocks, reduces emissions and improves our quality of life. We are working hard on implementing solutions to the environmental challenges that we face: We love plastic, but we hate plastic waste.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, America Recycles Day was created twenty-five years ago as a recurrence each year to recognize the importance and impact of recycling, which has contributed to American prosperity and the protection of our environment. The recycling rate has increased from less than seven percent in 1960 to the current rate of 32 percent. The EPA has found that recycling and reuse activities in the United States annually accounted for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages.
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, including Equipment Suppliers, Material Suppliers, Processors and Recyclers, representing over one million workers in our $468 billion U.S. industry. PLASTICS advances the priorities of our members who are dedicated to investing in technologies that improve capabilities and advances in recycling and sustainability and providing essential products that allow for the protection and safety of our lives. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members, and the sixth largest U.S. manufacturing industry, more globally competitive while supporting circularity through educational initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, convening opportunities and policy advocacy, including the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE2024: The Plastics Show.