PLASTICS puts plastic recycling in the spotlight 

Nov. 13, 2023
Recycling Week offers opportunity to promote circular economy efforts.

On Nov. 15, we celebrate America Recycles Day — an industry holiday recognizing the importance of recycling while educating the public about how to recycle properly. A few years ago, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) expanded upon this nationally recognized day as an opportunity to dive deeper into how plastic recycling works, how it can be done more effectively, and the positive impact made by the people who make plastic recycling happen every single day.  

Plastic Recycling Week is a social-media-driven campaign aimed at raising awareness for and educating about all aspects of plastic recycling. Through PLASTICS’ social media platforms, and those of participating companies and organizations, we share information about innovations in recycling technologies, using recycled content in new products, and ensuring that durable and disposable plastic products remain within the circular economy. This year, Plastic Recycling Week, held Nov. 13-17, will recognize America Recycles Day and promote educational information. Participation is as simple as posting on your social media platforms, using the uniting hashtag #PlasticRecyclingWeek. 

Each year, PLASTICS’ Recycling Committee identifies five major themes to focus on throughout Plastic Recycling Week. This year, they include:  

Monday: Recycling Durable Goods – When you hear about plastic recycling, the focus tends to be around items designated as “single-use” or “disposable.” However, it is equally important to shed light on the recycling process of durable plastic products and how they can be responsibly managed at the end of their lifespan. We aim to raise awareness about the sustainable disposal options available for durable products that are used for 3-plus years. 

Tuesday: Advanced Recycling – Dive a bit deeper into how this suite of technologies is being used and consumer perceptions of it as a method for recycling, which are more positive than you might think! We’ll hear from industry professionals who are pioneering in this space about the capabilities of their facilities as well as why this type of recycling is critical for increasing recycling rates. 

Wednesday: Innovations – In celebration of America Recycles Day, we’ll share innovations within PLASTICS’ New End Market Opportunities (NEMO) projects as well as how plastic recycling reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions. We will also promote the opening of our annual Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Award nomination period. Apply to let us know what innovations your company provides! 

Thursday: Mechanical Recycling - Mechanical recycling is the most efficient method for reprocessing plastic into a new product. We are excited to shed light on the collection, sorting and reprocessing of both pre- and post-consumer materials using mechanical recycling technologies. Additionally, we will showcase the necessary equipment for sorting, washing, grinding and re-pelletizing this material. 

Friday: Be the Example - Given that our audience consists primarily of plastics industry professionals, it is safe to assume that most of them are already familiar with the general rules of recycling. This theme provides industry professionals with valuable resources, talking points and more, which they can utilize when encountering inquiries from others, such as legislators, customers, friends or family, regarding recycling methods. The ultimate objective is to instill confidence in the recycling system, encouraging people to recycle more frequently!  

With the mission of amplifying the voices of the plastics industry, this year's event presents an incredible opportunity to amplify PLASTICS’ latest campaign. Recycling is Real highlights the extraordinary efforts of hardworking individuals across North America in contributing to plastic circularity, a crucial aspect of our sustainable future. 

Join a vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of voices by sharing how you and your company play a role in the plastic recycling process during the week of Nov. 13-17. Feel free to follow our designated daily themes or forge your own path! Don't forget to use the #PlasticRecyclingWeek hashtag.