APR rolls out new set of product design guidelines

APR rolls out updated guidelines for product designers

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) has unveiled renewed guidelines to help manufacturers better integrate recyclability into product design.

The report is the 14th iteration of the APR design for recycling guidelines, and it aims to bring designers up to speed on the technologies and trends currently permeating the recycling landscape.

"These guidelines describe how a package design might impact conventional mechanical plastics recycling systems, be improved to avoid recycling problems and be optimized to make plastic packages more compatible with current recycling systems," said Steve Alexander, APR's executive director.

APR organizes its design guidelines, which are based on input from the group's members, into five categories: caps and closures; inks; labels; colorants; and additives, layers and fillers. Among the recommendations are the following:

-Polypropylene is the best material for caps and closures, regardless of the resin type of the rest of the container.

-Label inks should firmly adhere to label substrate and not discolor wash water.

-Labels and associated adhesives should come off cleanly during the wash process.

-Un-pigmented clear plastic is preferred as it offers more potential applications and may yield higher marketability.

-When using additives or fillers, the density of PP and PE must remain below 1 so that the ground flake from these bottles can float in water.

APR is hosting a webinar on Sept. 19 to discuss the guidelines in more detail and help designers create products that are closely aligned with the modern plastics recycling infrastructure.

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