Resin Identification Code change could shape public's view

Published: July 3, 2013 4:46 pm ET
Updated: July 3, 2013 4:58 pm ET

Image By: Rich Williams

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Recycling, Materials Suppliers

Changes are coming — at last — to the Resin Identification Code. While the changes may seem superficial, the reality is that if they're successful, this has the potential to change the public's perception of plastics packaging.

So let's be sure to get this right.

The change will be most significant for plastics processors:

• The code itself will change, probably from the chasing-arrows symbol to an equilateral triangle. It's a subtle change, and on many containers it may be nearly imperceptible. But it's essential.

• The timing is still a few years down the road. The new proposed resin ID code, D7611, probably won't be adopted by the states until late 2014 or early 2015. In the meantime, everyone should stick the current code.

• Even then, the new code will be phased in. New tools will need to include the new code, but old ones won't have to be retrofitted.

• In addition to the new triangle, there will be other changes to the code. There may be symbols or numbers to indicate melt flow, for example. And packages that have the No. 7 symbol may also start including resin names, like PLA or PC.

For recyclers, this is good news — especially if consumers are paying attention.

The new code will provide them with additional information, so any companies that use the code to identify packages by resin type will have new tools at their disposal.

But more important, removing the "chasing arrows" will help to reinforce to consumers that just because a package has a Resin Identification Code, that doesn't mean it can be recycled in the local curbside or drop-off program.

Will that make a big difference? We'll see. We know from decades of experience that many consumers want to recycle everything, including all of their plastics.

But the real hope here is that by removing the arrows, consumers will stop using the code, and recyclers will find new ways to educate the public on what can be recycled.

The plastics industry hasn't changed the code in 20-plus years, so even a small change is going to make an impact — it will have a cost; it will take some effort.

And getting rid of the arrows means the industry, brand-owners, municipalities and recyclers are going to have to settle on a better way to educate the public about plastics recycling.


Comments

Resin Identification Code change could shape public's view

Published: July 3, 2013 4:46 pm ET
Updated: July 3, 2013 4:58 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Americhem beats weather woes at start of 2014 for good fiscal year

November 26, 2014 9:45 am ET

Gains from the automotive and construction markets provided a strong fiscal 2014 for Americhem Inc.    More

Image

SPI hopes to build on EPS recycling

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Successfully recycling expanded polystyrene can be a challenge, there's no doubt about that. EPS, however, has value, is in demand and deserves to be ...    More

Image

Pan-European plastics recycling show scheduled for 2015

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Europe is to get its first pan-European exhibition and conference aimed at the region's plastics recycling industry next year.    More

Image

Irish packaging group Smurfit Kappa opens film plant in Spain

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Global packaging group Smurfit Kappa Group plc has responded to growing demand for its bag-in-box liquid container/dispensers by opening a new plant...    More

Image

Onex buying packaging group SIG Combibloc

November 24, 2014 9:05 am ET

ex Corp. will buy SIG Combibloc Group, the Switzerland-based manufacturer of aseptic carton packaging and plastics closures from New Zealand's Rank Gr...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events