Plastics Recycling Update

Latest APR effort helps guide recyclable package design

Plastic packaging samples on white background.

Under the review program, products will be analyzed for their technical compatibility with current recycling processes. | ShutterOK / Shutterstock

The Association of Plastic Recyclers is launching an initiative to further recognize brands and others that are innovating in line with current plastics recycling capabilities.

The Meets Preferred Guidance (MPG) Review Program will be open to plastic packaging manufacturers that are introducing new types of plastic packaging and components into the marketplace and want to ensure the items meet the “APR Preferred” category when assessed using the APR Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability. (APR owns Resource Recycling, Inc., publisher of Plastics Recycling Update.)

Participating manufacturers will see their items undergo a review process to analyze the material’s technical compatibility with the processes used by plastics recycling operators today.

“APR supports brands and manufacturers across the country and around the world in ensuring that products and packaging are made to be recycled,” Steve Alexander, APR president and CEO, said in a press release. “The APR Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability, coupled with APR training programs, testing protocols, and product recognition opportunities such as the Meets Preferred Guidance Review Program, give companies confidence that the items they make can be effectively recycled.”

The question of plastic packaging’s compatibility with existing recycling capabilities has become a larger industry issue as brand owners and resin manufacturers have announced aggressive goals tied to materials recovery and the use of post-consumer resin in new packaging.

“Poor package design leads to contamination in the recycling stream which impacts not only the recyclers, but also the companies that manufacture packaging,” Sandeep Kulkarni, APR’s technical consultant, noted in the release. “It reduces the quality of post-consumer recycled resin that brands ultimately need to achieve their corporate sustainability goals.”

APR is holding a webinar on Sept. 14 to detail the MPG Review Program as well as the group’s other recognition programs, including Critical Guidance, Applications Guidance and Responsible Innovation.

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