North American Plastics Recycling Alliance debuts

North American Plastics Recycling Alliance debuts

Associations and nonprofits partner to grow plastics recycling.

November 15, 2016

A group of trade associations and nonprofits has announced the formation of the North American Plastics Recycling Alliance (NAPRA), a new coalition with the mission to grow plastics recycling in the United States and Canada.

NAPRA represents the full plastics and recycling value chain from resin manufacturers and processors to brand owners and recyclers, each sharing a vision in which plastics are recognized for their value and recovered for their highest and best use, according to a news release issued by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, Washington, which is one of the groups that have joined to form NAPRA.

The types of plastics collected for recycling and consumer access to plastics recycling programs in North America have grown dramatically in the last few years, NARA says. For example, the recycling of plastic film, a category that includes plastic wraps, bags and commercial packaging, has grown 74 percent since 2005, reaching a recycling rate of 17 percent in 2013, with 1.15 billion pounds of material recycled. Additionally, U.S. recycling of nonbottle rigid plastics has increased 300 percent since 2007 to more than 1 billion pounds.

“Plastics recycling reduces waste and carbon emissions, saves energy and conserves resources—all while providing jobs and benefitting the economy,” says Steve Alexander, executive director of the Association of Plastics Recyclers, one of the industry groups that have joined to form NAPRA. “The organizations that participate in NAPRA are committed to growing these benefits by accelerating progress in plastics recycling.”

Nina Goodrich, executive director of Green Blue and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Charlottesville, Virginia, which founded the How 2 Recycle Package Label, says, “Collaboration is the key to accelerating our progress toward a more sustainable society. The opportunity for effective improvement of plastics recycling can be greatly enhanced by the collaboration of NAPRA participants. Collectively we can make a significant impact.”

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition also is a NAPRA member.

“Scrap plastic is a valuable resource and represents a dynamic and growing segment of the recycling industry,” says Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Washington. “ISRI is excited to be part of NAPRA to work together to advance plastics recycling through improved communication and education.”

The following organizations participate in NAPRA:

NAPRA participants develop, share and increase access to tools and resources designed to promote education, research, and the advancement of technologies that will continuously improve the sustained recovery of plastics.