200 Million Pounds of Plastic Recycled By Ag Initiative

Since 1992, the Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC) has collected the 200 million pounds of high density polyethylene (HDPE) for recycling. The milestone was announced in September.

To illustrate this impact, ACRC equated the total number to a football field full of compacted plastic jugs stacked 481 feet high, or it is equivalent to 2.5 gallon jugs laid end to end circling the earth almost 2.3 times. The recycling of that much plastic is an energy-savings equivalent to 43,019,361 gallons of gasoline; or is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 57,518 average American houses. 

“The public has constantly growing expectations of our industry to be leaders in stewardship," said Ag Retailers Association President and CEO Daren Coppock about ACRC's achievement. "One of the most visible ways retailers can do that is to facilitate recycling options for their containers and those of their farmer customers. By doing so, we provide for responsible reuse of the packaging materials, solve a problem for farmers and remove a potential source of pollution.” 

As the ACRC records show, the first 100 million pounds was collected in the first 16 years, while the effort has accelerated to collect the second 100 million pounds in only 11 years. And the council expects to reach 300 million pounds total in the next seven years.

The National Agricultural Aviation Association estimates the aerial application industry is responsible for helping to recycle 56 million pounds of HDPE in the past decade and a half.

Recycled HDPE is used for the following:

  • Agriculture drain pipe
  • Highway sign posts
  • Highway and agricultural fence posts
  • Underground utility conduit
  • Wire and cable spool (reel) flanges
  • Agrochemical composite IBC platforms
  • Industrial pallets for ag chemical and seed packaging
  • Rebar chairs
  • Landscape edging
  • Nursery Pots