The adaptability of plastic packaging allows it to meet a variety of needs. As packaging moves from design phase through recovery/disposal, the varying types of plastics and their unique properties enable many of the choices made along the way: color, weight, size, shape, utility, printing, protection and so on.
Recycling varies from place to place, but most community curbside programs recycle plastic bottles—and many now recycle other plastic containers. A 2011 study found that 94 percent of Americans have access to recycle plastic bottles—and 40 percent also can recycle other types of plastic containers, such as yogurt cups, dairy tubs and lids. Most large grocery stores—and many large retail chains—today offer bins to collect plastics bags and wraps for recycling. And there is a growing number of innovative plastic foodservice recycling programs across the country.