The PET that is exported domestically is processed into flakes to make new bottles and clamshells for food packaging. The HDPE that is exported domestically is processed into pellets that are sold to Mexico to produce lawn furniture and other plastic items such as detergent containers and milk jugs.
Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 793 (Ting and Irwin, Chapter 115, Statutes of 2020) on September 24, 2020, stating that the bottles consumed in California must contain 50% postconsumer recycled plastic starting in 2030. This bill boosted the California recycling market in early 2022. 2
Based on local waste studies and the CalRecycle Waste Characterization Report, it is known that recyclable material is still being landfilled.4 For instance, based on residential sampling, the trash cart can contain on average 5-10% green or wood material, 10-15% food material, 10-15% recyclable material, and only 65-70% actual trash. In general, consumers want to do the right thing. But the amount of effort required and costs involved definitely impact consumer dedication to effectively recycle plastic.
- Reducing consumption
- Preventing, collecting, and penalizing littering
- Understanding the different types of plastic
- Knowing how each type can be recycled
- Greenpeace – 2022 Update. Available at:https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/GPUS_FinalReport_2022.p df
- 60 Recycling Statistics. Available at: https://comparecamp.com/recycling-statistics/#TOC1
- U.S. Plastic Waste Recycled 2021. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/23/us-plastic-waste-recycled-2021-green peace#:~:text=US%20news-,Only%205%25%20of%20plastic%20waste%20generated% 20by%20US,year%20was%20recycled%2C%20report%20says&text=Only%205%25%2 0of%20the%20mountains,to%20new%20research%20by%20Greenpeace
- Top 25 Recycling Facts. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/06/recycling-global-statistics-facts-plastic-paper/
- Global plastic pollution set to triple. Available at: https://www.dailysabah.com/life/environment/global-plastic-pollution-set-to-triple-by-20 60-above-1-billion-tons
- Plastic Minimum Content Standards. Available at: https://calrecycle.ca.gov/bevcontainer/bevdistman/plasticcontent/
- Based on sales at Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, Inc. and their broker Berg Mill Supply. Available at: https://goldcoastrecycling.com/ and https://bergmill.com/
- Waste Characterization Studies. Available at: https://www2.calrecycle.ca.gov/WasteCharacterization/Study