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

Hedging can slow the resin rollercoaster

April 17, 2014 3:00 pm ET

The good old days — if they even ever existed — are gone, and.Andy VanPutte thinks volatility in the resin market is here to stay and...    More

Proposed Shell project draws more than 1,000 to informational meetings

April 17, 2014 2:03 pm ET

More than 1,000 people attended a pair of public meetings hosted by Shell Chemical LP on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major...    More

Texas consumer group urges more science in advocacy campaigns

April 17, 2014 1:35 pm ET

WASHINGTON—The Texas Consumer Association (TCA) is raising concerns about consumer advocacy campaigns against certain chemicals and plastic...    More

Spain's Cristian Lay Group buys two materials units of bankrupt LSB

April 17, 2014 11:11 am ET

Spanish industrial conglomerate Cristian Lay Group has purchased two of the bankrupt Spanish PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.    More

Image

Using social media to answer consumer questions about plastics

April 17, 2014 10:59 am ET

Plastic packaging was stoutly defended on a recent Q&A session on social media site Twitter, run jointly by the British Plastics Federation and scienc...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events