Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has reported that the state's overall rate for the recycling of rigid plastic containers has fallen below 25% for the first time since the state started tracking such figures in 1993.
With projections showing the plastic recycling rate continuing to drop in 2007, some plastics producers are faced with the prospect of being forced to use more recycled content in their plastics. As part of Oregon's 1991 Recycling Act, plastic producers are required to either produce a plastic that is recycled in the state at a rate of at least 25%, or to use at least 25% recycled content in their plastic production. If the overall plastic recycling rate remains below 25% through 2007 as predicted, plastic producers in Oregon will have to start using more recycled plastics in their manufacturing process starting in 2008.
According to Central Oregon's News Channel 21, Oregon's decreasing recycling rate is in part attributable to the increasing production of non-bottle plastic containers, which generally are not recycled by curbside programs:
"Increasing amounts of plastic are being used to make tubs, trays and other types of non-bottle containers. Most curbside collection programs collect only plastic bottles, so the tubs, trays and clamshells often are not recycled."
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CAW is currently engaged in a campaign against plastics waste and in a campaign to expand the scope of Californiaâ€™s curbside recycling.