The recycling rate of polyethylene plastic bags and has doubled from 2005 to 2008, and total recycling in 2008 was about 832 million pounds, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The volume of recycled plastic materials continued to grow even "when the economy was in a global recession," said Keith Christman, managing director for plastics at the American Chemistry Council. The trend bodes well for the plastic-lumber industry, which relies on post-consumer plastics for feedstock to produce materials for various applications.

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