Helping ensure the long-term viability of polypropylene plastic will take all of us. Learn how we can make a difference together.

Polypropylene Recycling Coalition

The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is focused on increasing access for people to recycle polypropylene through curbside recycling programs, ensuring more recycling processing facilities can sort the material successfully, and stimulating a robust end-market of high-quality recycled polypropylene for reuse in packaging. The Coalition is part of The Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity, an initiative creating scalable solutions to packaging and system challenges and accelerating the shift to the circular economy that uses fewer finite resources.

An Estimated 1.6+ Billion Pounds of Polypropylene to be Recycled

According to The Recycling Partnership’s 2020 State of Curbside Recycling report, some limited data from capture studies suggest there may be as much as 17 pounds of polypropylene available per year from a single-family household. This would place polypropylene at higher generation rates than both natural and colored HDPE. Total annual polypropylene tonnage by U.S. single-family households would be an estimated 827,000 tons or 1.65 billion pounds.

Change Begins with Education

The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition will continue the work of The Recycling Partnership to increase curbside access for polypropylene through education of residents, ensure recyclers can sort for polypropylene successfully in their facilities through grants for technology to MRFs, and maintain vibrant and robust end markets to supply high-quality recycled polypropylene for use in packaging by working with packaging producers.

Visit our PP Education page for free resources to educate residents about polypropylene recycling.

A Growing Market for Recycled Polypropylene

There is an increasing demand for recycled polypropylene. Learn more about these exciting polypropylene developments as presented by The Recycling Partnership and The Association of Plastic Recyclers to the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling.
Download the Presentation

An Immediate Need

There is an immediate need to ensure the long-term viability of polypropylene plastic (No. 5 plastic) as an accepted and recycled material. The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is the leading change agent and champion for the recovery and recycling of polypropylene. The overall goal of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is to increase curbside access for polypropylene, ensure recyclers can sort for polypropylene successfully in their facilities, and maintain vibrant and robust end markets to supply high-quality recycled polypropylene for use in packaging.

Polypropylene is used in an array of food and non-food packaging and has largely been collected in curbside programs and sorted in Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) under the broad category of “3-7” resins. Most MRF-specific resin sorting capacity is focused on PET and HDPE which are presumed to be available in higher quantities than polypropylene in the household stream. Current data suggests, however, polypropylene could have a higher volume in the recycling stream than both natural and colored HDPE.

Learn about our Round 1 and Round 2 MRF grantees.

FAQs

What is polypropylene?

Polypropylene (PP) is a type of plastic, sometimes referred to as number 5 plastic. Polypropylene is used in an array of food and non-food packaging. You can find it used in everyday items in your household like food packaging and beverage containers: yogurt cups, butter containers, coffee pods, apple sauce or pudding cups, and much more.

Is polypropylene recyclable?

There are many communities across the U.S. today that successfully recycle polypropylene. It is a material that can be successfully sorted at a material recovery facility (MRF) and has existing domestic end markets where it is reprocessed and can then be used in new products ranging from automotive parts to personal care and food packaging.

Is the Coalition still actively recruiting members?

Yes. We welcome any companies who would like to be a part of this initiative and encourage you to reach out to The Recycling Partnership to hear more about how you can get involved. Together, we can stimulate a system-wide shift to increase the capture of polypropylene and demand of recycled content. We encourage all companies that utilize polypropylene to be part of the solution.

Do you have to be a member of The Partnership to join the Polypropylene Coalition?

No. The Recycling Partnership is dedicated to ensuring the success of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and is waiving the requirement to be a member of The Recycling Partnership for the first year. We want to enable companies to join with as few barriers as possible and have the biggest reach we can. While we remain committed to our mission and getting additional funders of our organization, we know the importance of this coalition and extending our reach.

Why did The Recycling Partnership decide to work on polypropylene?

The Recycling Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity methodology and emerging strategic assessment process provides the guidance to address unique challenges of specific packages and materials. With the recent announcements about challenges facing polypropylene recycling we knew there was action needed. We stand by polypropylene and its viability in the circular economy. When recycling facilities have access to advanced sortation technology, polypropylene is a valuable commodity to recycle and can be continually remanufactured. Polypropylene has important and unique performance properties. Through the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, we are taking action to improve the circularity of this material. Now is not the time to step away from polypropylene but to lean in. Together, we can stimulate a system-wide shift to increase the capture of polypropylene and demand of recycled content. We encourage all companies that utilize polypropylene to be part of the solution.

Thank you to our partners and founding members.