3 Trends Reshaping the Future of Plastic Recycling

By Michael Kralstein | Plastics Recycling

Mar 21

For more than 50 years, plastic materials have been the driver and workhorse of the modern economy. During this time, plastic production has skyrocketed from 1500 million metric tons back in 1964 up to 2014’s astounding 311 million metric tons. In 2015, the world’s industries generated 448 million tons of plastic, which is twice as much produced in 1998.

However, the functional benefits of plastic production do come at a significant price! As a classic single-use product, plastic packaging accounts for 25% of the total volume of plastics. And even though the useful life of plastic packaging is usually around a year, the material can live on for several centuries in landfills.

A new report created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Economic Forum, and McKinsey discovered that applying the principles of closed-loop recycling or a circular economy could completely reshape the future of plastic recycling. Particularly, it could exponentially reduce the negative externalities, which are conservatively valued by the United Nations Environment Programme at $40 billion.

Today, a new generation of technology and innovation around recycling is emerging to keep plastics in circulation and away from landfills. Continue reading to learn more about a frew innovations shaping the future of plastics recycling.

Compostable Can Liners

As more businesses look for ways to create a more eco-friendly organization, you can expect the increased use of compostable can liners. However, not all compostable can liners are created equally.

Today, AAA Polymer offers the certified and premium BioTuf's compostable can liners. Hailed as the "Green Standard" BioTuf Compostable Bags are the best compostable trash bags because they can save you green. In addition, BioTuf can liners offer:

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    Excellent strength for post-consumer and pre-consumer food waste diversion programs.  
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    Remarkable tear resistant and puncture resistance.
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    The best compostable can liners for municipal yard and curbside waste collection programs, like the NYC Organics Collection program.  
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    Optimum load capacity and lifting strength.
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    BioTuf Compostable Bags have been repeatedly tested and proven for in-service performance.
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    BioTuf Compostable Bags dissipate moisture to deliver odor control.

Learn more about how BioTuf's Compostable Can Liners and how we can help your business grow and thrive in a sustainable way.

Post Consumer Recycled Content

AAA Polymer has recently joined forces with the industry-leading Trex for their 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) pellets. Trex recovers and processes these low-density polyethylene (LDPE) pellets in their state-of-the-art reprocessing facility.  Trex Cardinal PCR pellets are made from 100% recycled materials — no virgin plastic or post-industrial film is added.

After being certified by the International Code Council (ICC), AAA Polymer uses the resins to create new, customizable can liners boasting equivalent strength and pricing. AAA Polymer is proud to partner with Trex Cardinal in shaping the future of recycling and making closed-loop recycling more accessible to businesses.

Learn more about AAA Polymer's can liners made with 100% postconsumer recycled content.

Say Hello to Clark the Future of Plastics Recycling

One of the biggest antagonists to improved recycling is the seemingly arduous task of sorting. Fortunately, AMP Robotics is working with recyclers to transform a 20-year-old mechanical trash-sorting system into a modern marvel. They added an AI brain and robotic eyes to create Clarke — an intelligent machine that utilizes a visible light camera to select juice, food, and milk food cartons on a conveyor line of recyclable waste.

Clarke uses twin suction cups and robotic arm to pluck them from the line. Clarke can pick up to 60 items every minute, which is over 20 more than any average worker can. This system boasts a 90% accuracy rate, which leads to a staggering 50% reduction in sorting costs. Although originally designed to pick cartons, you can expect Clarke and similar systems to continue to emerge and be used for sorting plastics as well.

Contact AAA Polymer for More on the Future of Plastics

As innovations continue to emerge, it’s important to understand the world’s rate of plastic production is significantly outpacing the rate at which it is being incinerated or effectively recyclable. The current scenario creates an untenable situation — both environmentally and economics.

However, AAA Polymer is on the forefront of recycling technologies and commercial solutions. We partner with businesses throughout the east coast and beyond to provide customized recycling solutions. You tell us your business goals, and we'll create a commercial recycling solution to help you achieve them.

Contact AAA Polymer today to learn more about our commercial recycling program.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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