Skip to main content

US plastic recycling crisis

by Futures Centre, Apr 27
1 minute read

The drop in oil prices has made the price of recycled plastic, a petroleum-derived resource, decrease by almost 50% in recent months. Most US recycled plastic is sold to China, where it is used to make items such as carpet, toothbrushes and fleece. However, manufacturers can now source virgin polymers, with the exact chemical composition they need, for less than US-imported recycled polymers.

Recycling

As of March, the cost of new plastic has fallen, and now costs approximately 7% less than recycled forms, meaning that recyclers are no longer able to profit from sales of recycled polymers. Plastic bags, which are particularly expensive to process, have stopped being recycled by Waste Management, the largest US recycling company.

Image: allybeag / Flickr

Details

  • Other Tags:
by Futures Centre Spotted 1940 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.

>