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

Nova expanding PE research center

August 26, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Nova Chemicals Corp. has broken ground on an expansion of its polyethylene research center in Calgary, Alberta.    More

Image

Sinopec licenses PP technology to USA, posts half-year results

August 26, 2014 11:46 am ET

China's state-owned petrochemical giant Sinopec Corp. said it is licensing polypropylene polymerization technology to a U.S. plant for the first time ...    More

Image

Sonoco buys Germany's Weidenhammer, plans for thin-walled packaging growth

August 25, 2014 1:41 pm ET

Sonoco Products Co.'s acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH of Germany includes plastic packaging technology that the company is targeting ...    More

Image

Japan's DIC planning PPS compounding plant in China

August 25, 2014 1:28 pm ET

Japanese materials firm DIC Corp. plans to open its first polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) compounding plant in China by the end of 2015.    More

Image

Private equity firm buys Berlin Packaging

August 25, 2014 11:36 am ET

Private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners plans to buy rigid packaging distributor Berlin Packaging LLC for $1.43 billion.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

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

More Events