Recycling is Not the Solution to Single-Use Plastics

Through improving plastics recycling and pushing to reduce plastic consumption, AMBR demonstrates what does and doesn’t work in plastics recycling, and debunks false solutions like plastics-to-fuel that perpetuate single-use packaging.

Bales of plastic
Oil Derricks

The Sad Truth

30 years of recycling in the U.S. has failed to significantly stem the tide of plastic waste.

Only 9% of plastics ever produced have been recycled. We cannot recycle our way out of our plastics problem. Yet recycling does have an important role to play as part of a comprehensive, systemic approach to reduce plastic waste and fossil fuel consumption.

Glass bottles ready for recycling
polluted beach

A New Approach

Building a viable plastics recycling system requires sustained demand and economic value for recycled content, standardized packaging to reduce consumer confusion and material complexities, improved collection and processing of materials for high recovery rates, and incentives for reuse and refill models replacing single-use plastics.

Working from our operational experience, AMBR can help lay the foundation for which plastics can be recycled effectively and under what conditions, and which products do not and will not have viable recycling options.

Woman Leading Group

Recycling is not “the solution,” but it can play an important role in reducing fossil fuel consumption when done right.

AMBR works to reduce plastic waste and curb fossil fuel extraction by:

Plastic bags in the forest

Reducing Problematic Plastics

We support efforts to eliminate single-use plastics and other problematic packaging, and to switch to more recyclable, less toxic plastic resins in order to scale and improve viable recycling markets.

Learn More
Family taking out recycling bin

Strengthening Plastics Recycling Systems

We champion the policies, infrastructure and packaging changes needed to establish a truly circular system for plastics recycling based on proven best practices and grounded in our experience in recycling operations.


Refuting on False Solutions

We expose and counter proposed policies, technologies and other “solutions” that fail to fundamentally improve plastics recycling, stem the tide of plastic waste or curb fossil fuel consumption.

Learn More