Canadian Plastics

U.S. plastic bag manufacturers want 95 per cent of plastic retail bags to be reused or recycled by 2025

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Packaging Sustainability

The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, which made the pledge, also wants all bags to have 25 per cent recycled content by 2025.

The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance (ARPBA), the plastic bag industry’s main U.S. trade group, has voluntarily pledged that 95 per cent of plastic retail bags be reused or recycled by 2025.

Under the plan, all ARPBA members will try to hit that target of 95 per cent.

“We are all proud to come together to commit to specific industry-wide sustainability goals,” Gary Alstott, chairman of the ARPBA and senior vice president at Novolex, said in a Jan. 30 statement. “Our alliance was founded by U.S. manufacturers who saw the benefits in plastic bag recycling and invested heavily in the infrastructure and education needed to make it a reality. Our members now recycle hundreds of millions of pounds of bags and plastic films each year, and each of us are undertaking many other efforts to promote sustainable bag use.”

According to ARBPA figures, the current reuse rate of plastic grocery bags in the U.S. is about 78 per cent, and the recycle rate is around 12 per cent – meaning that 90 per cent of bags are currently reused or recycled. “In addition to efforts that encourage consumers to reuse bags and working with retailers to place the How2Recycle label on all U.S.-made bags, members will increase the amount of recycled content in their products to achieve today’s pledge of a 95% reuse and recycle rate by 2025,” ARPBA’s statement added.


ARPBA members are committed to achieving the following minimum recycled content in plastic retail bags:

  • 2021 – All bags will have 10 per cent recycled content
  • 2023 – All bags will have 15 per cent recycled content
  • 2025 – All bags will have 20 per cent recycled content

The ARPBA was founded in 2005.


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