PETRA proposes new way to judge materials' recyclability

Mike Verespej

Published: October 16, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, Sustainability, Recycling, Design

NEW YORK (Oct. 16, 12:15 p.m. ET) — To overcome recycling test barriers that discourage improvements in PET resin, the PET Resin Association has developed a recyclability assessment model that it said is a more “realistic and effective method for assessing recyclability” of various types of PET resin than the guidelines from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers.

The PETRA model integrates the need for continued innovation with stringent resin testing and monitoring, said Ralph Vasami, executive director of PETRA, which represents North American producers of PET resin.

The group announced its Recyclability and Innovation Model and posted it online Oct. 16. The document provides voluntary criteria for testing, evaluating and ensuring the recyclability of newly developed PET resins that are used in manufacturing PET bottles and containers.

New York-based PETRA said it issued the model when “it became apparent” — three years after discussions between the two organizations became in 2009 — “that APR was unwilling to change its protocol to allow for the introduction of resin variations anticipated for relatively low market presence, even if offset by additional recyclability safeguards.”

The PETRA model allows for testing variations at levels of 2 percent and 10 percent, which PETRA said encompasses the vast majority of today’s new PET resin variants. 

Current recyclability guidelines in the PET Bottle Critical Guidance document from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers call for resin testing at concentrations of either 25 percent or 50 percent. The European PET Bottle Platform PET Recycling Test Protocol allows for testing at lower concentrations than APR.

“APR requires resin variants and innovations typically having a low market presence to meet the same requirements of a resin accounting for 25 percent or 50 percent of total North American PET production,” said PETRA.

Those requirements discourage innovation, make product differentiation difficult and preclude the introduction of resin improvements, PETRA said.

“In recent years, the APR’s focus on defining recyclability in terms of meeting the capabilities of the least-sophisticated recycling operations has been increasingly at odds with advances in resin science and resulting innovations.”

PETRA’s model focuses on real-market resin performance and the evaluation needs of producers, brand owners and recyclers, said Vasami.

In addition to special-use resins, PETRA’s model does include criteria for testing at those more robust levels of 25 percent and 50 percent.

In general, PETRA said its model is designed to combine the most progressive elements of the existing European PET Bottle Platform recyclability guidelines and the APR recycling guidelines for North America — without sacrificing rigorous testing benchmarks or compromising innovation.

PETRA stressed that under its model all innovations will be tested to the same performance criteria and given either a pass or fail mark.

According to PETRA, its model includes:

* A rigorous test protocol to measure recyclability in terms of a resin’s physical and chemical performance characteristics.

* A dispersion assessment, based on the test protocol results, that calculates the volume of a resin type that can safely be placed in the marketplace without compromising the overall recyclability of PET.

* The provision of control resins that reflect the current North American supply of water-grade and carbonated soft drink-grade PET resins, for use with the test protocol.

* Annual test monitoring — once the model is in prevalent use — of the combined virgin PET stream to identify and quantify any changes in the virgin resin stream that might adversely impact the recyclability of PET.

Under the program, PETRA will provide industry-representative control resins to organizations that use the model for testing. Once the model is widely used, PETRA said it will be committed to funding annual third-party testing and monitoring of the PET resin stream.


Comments

PETRA proposes new way to judge materials' recyclability

Mike Verespej

Published: October 16, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Study: 100 times less plastic than expected polluting ocean surface

July 23, 2014 3:46 pm ET

There's as much as 100 times less plastic floating on surface of the world's oceans than would be expected given the mushrooming use of the material...    More

Image

Molder provides quality parts and quality work for disabled adults

July 23, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Coarc Manufacturing Inc. does injection molding, assembly and all of the work of traditional manufacturer, but it also serves as part of Coarc Inc. a ...    More

Image

DuPont quarterly sales drop, income rises

July 23, 2014 12:46 pm ET

DuPont Co.'s sales and net income experienced slight changes for the second quarter 2014, as operating earnings dropped to $1.17 per share in the...    More

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its...    More

Image

Celanese to expand production in Brazil

July 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Celanese Corp., the Irving, Texas-based chemicals and specialty materials company, has announced that it will expand its manufacturing capabilities at...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events