CRI sees bottle recycling boost with federal attention

CRI sees bottle recycling boost with federal attention

Advocacy group forecasts 80 percent global beverage container recycling rate with proposed U.S. legislation.

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February 12, 2020

The Culver City, California-based Container Recycling Institute (CRI) is predicting an 80 percent global beverage container recycling rate if the recently proposed Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 was to be signed into law in the United States.

CRI says the legislation would, if passed, “likely increase the U.S. recycling rate for bottles and cans from the current 33 percent to 80 percent.” Globally, it could mean “that more than 190 billion of the 250 billion bottles and cans sold annually would be captured – almost 2.5 times the 80 billion recycled in 2017,” writes the group.

CRI says it provided input to legislators who authored the bill, which CRI says has been designed to “enable consumers to return empty bottles and cans to a recycling location and get back the 5-cent, 10-cent or 15-cent deposits they paid upon purchase.”

Currently, 10 U.S. states have bottle bills. The average recycling rate for bottles and cans on deposit in those states is 66 percent, which CRI calls “a stark contrast to the average 23 percent recycling rate for beverage containers without deposits.” (The CRI includes plastic and glass bottles in these figures, along with the aluminum cans known in the scrap industry as used beverage containers, or UBCs.)

“A national bottle bill would introduce the most effective beverage container recycling system available throughout the nation, while bringing much-needed modernization to the process,” states CRI President Susan Collins.