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AMBR’s Statement on Microplastics Generated by Plastics Recycling

We share concerns regarding microplastics generated by plastics, including during the recycling process. Wherever there are plastics—whether in packaging, utensils, cookware, clothing, tires, or building materials, etc.—there are inevitably microplastics. As recycling operators, we understand the multitude of challenges associated with plastics recycling. Despite constituting only a small percentage of the recycling stream, plastics packaging accounts for the majority of the problems encountered within recycling facilities. Most plastic products were never designed to be recycled—but recycling has become a convenient storyline for the plastics packaging industry as an end-of-life solution for their ever-increasing volume of products. 

Recycling will never be THE solution to the plastics and microplastics crises, but that doesn’t mean we should stop recycling. We need to recover plastics that are legitimately recyclable while we simultaneously drastically reduce global plastic production. That’s why we at AMBR advocate for proven solutions, including the elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastics, the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility policies for packaging, and the adoption of bottle bills.