EPA gives OK to recycling plastic fluff

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: April 11, 2013 3:22 pm ET
Updated: April 11, 2013 3:24 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Recycling

WASHINGTON — Plastics pulled from metal recycling facilities can now be recycled following a new formal interpretation of federal regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA said the new interpretation of existing regulations permits plastic scrap containing levels of polychlorinated biphenyls less than 50 parts per million to enter the recycling stream, allowing more plastics to be recycled while continuing to prevent dangerous levels of PCBs from entering the environment.

New PCB production was banned in the United States in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001 because of links to cancer and toxic effects on the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems. PCBs are still permitted in some "totally enclosed uses," such as transformers and capacitors.

"EPA is adopting the generic 50 ppm exclusion for the processing, distribution in commerce, and use, based on the agency's determination that the use, processing, and distribution in commerce of products with less than 50 ppm PCB concentration will not generally present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment," EPA said in an April 5 federal notice.

According to EPA, the interpretation applies to any plastic separated from shredder residue recovered from metals recycling facilities under the conditions described in the Voluntary Procedures for Recycling Plastics from Shredder Residue, which includes documented source control and output control programs aimed at keeping PCBs out of shredder feedstock materials.

The clarification to the ruling comes nearly two years after the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. approached EPA in hopes of clarifying existing regulations that could otherwise hinder innovation in separating plastics from automobile shredder residue (ASR) aggregate.

According to Washington-based ISRI, 1 million to 2 million tons of plastic are generated annually in ASR aggregate, most of which could be separated and recycled rather than disposed of.

"The technologies for separating and recycling the plastics are already being employed in Europe and Asia, and the Agency's action will now allow similar investments to be made here in the U.S., instead of overseas," said ISRI President Robin Wiener in a statement.


Comments

EPA gives OK to recycling plastic fluff

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: April 11, 2013 3:22 pm ET
Updated: April 11, 2013 3:24 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Unilever puts Dove brand on a MuCell diet

April 23, 2014 1:57 pm ET

New technology employed by Unilever NV in the manufacture of bottles for its Dove Body Wash range of products could end up saving the brand owner up...    More

Image

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Europe's bag use still expected to climb despite possible bag restrictions

April 22, 2014 9:29 am ET

Ceresana, a Germany-based research company, has released a report forecasting that by 2020 the sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe will reach 9....    More

DuPont: Asia's food packaging market at a major transition point

April 21, 2014 1:26 pm ET

DuPont Co. touted its packaging innovations and applications, and updated the firm's commercial status at a media event two days before the Chinaplas ...    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

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

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

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