Amcor plc

06/28/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/28/2022 04:11

🔈 The essential role consumer participation plays in recycling

Roger has been involved with research and development in recycled packaging who for over 30 years, working in partnership with packaging manufacturers and non-governmental organizations. He leads a campaign called "Recycle the Jug," raising awareness that a common form of packaging that often ends up in landfill - the milk jug, which is made of high-density polyethylene - can be widely recycled in many programs across the United States.

High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is one of the most recycled plastics around the world. It can be used repeatedly with little degradation, and the same plastic can be easily recycled up to seven times. The infrastructure needed to recycle these jugs is already in place and the packaging itself can be recycled easily. However, many consumers in the United States remain confused or skeptical about the recyclable nature of the plastic milk jug.

The milk jug has been a common form of packaging for a long time in the country, and while distribution differs state by state, can vary in local towns and is conducted through a unique delivery system, the packaging itself is ubiquitous. This omnipresent nature, in combination with the recyclable properties of HDPE, makes the milk jug a widely acceptable plastic in recycling programs.

The challenge is consumer participation - the jug is recyclable, but many either do not know that it is or simply do not recycle it. This campaign run by Roger encourages and ensures that customers know how to, and more importantly that they are able to, recycle the jug.

Less than three out of 10 milk jugs are recycled, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While many in the plastics and packaging industries know that they are recyclable, members of the U.S. public are less aware. That's why Recycle the Jug's campaign message is so important.

Amcor already runs initiatives to encourage consumer education and participation, including through its partnerships with the Consumer Goods Forum, Minderoo and Earthwatch. With waste infrastructure and product innovation already in place, the next step in achieving circular economies across the value chain is involving and teaching consumers what to recycle and how easy it can be.

To hear more from David Clark and Roger Zellner, listen to the full podcast below. Learn more about the Recycle the Jug campaign here.