APR honors innovators in plastics recycling

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The Association of Plastic Recyclers has developed an Annual Recycling Showcase that recognizes innovators in the field that have a positive impact on plastics collection and recycling. The focus is on recently commercialized innovations developed by APR member companies.

This year's winners were announced during the recent Plastics Recycling 2017 conference.

Here's what the APR has to say about each one:

The AMUT De-Labeler for PET bottle wash lines: a continuous dry pre-cleaning system that removes both standard wrap-around and full-body shrink sleeve labels from PET bottles ahead of the wash line. After label removal, the bottles have good integrity without damage.

Avery Dennison's CleanFlake adhesive technology: a water-based, recyclable adhesive that cleanly separates during the recycling process. The adhesive adheres to the PET bottle or thermoformed package until the very end of its lifecycle, when the cohesive bond is broken at the recycler in the sink/float process.

Berry Plastics laminate post-consumer resin tube: Fetch…for Pets' licensed Burt's Bees for Dogs package is Berry's first commercial tube made from post-consumer resin. Recycled content ranges from 57 to 62 percent, excluding the closure, depending on the tube diameter and length.

Dow Chemical Co.'s Retain polymer modifiers: Multilayer flexible packaging made with this technology can be recycled back into a polyethylene recycling stream, addressing current recycling challenges and complications caused by differences in material properties.

Ettlinger's ECO continuous melt filter for PET extrusion: Static mesh screens have been replaced with ridged cylindrical filters that are continuously wiped clean of contaminants. Frequent screen changes and backflush events are no longer required leading to greatly improved pressure stability and improved up time.

The Lush Black Pot: The first rigid package made from post-consumer polypropylene, developed by recycler KW Plastics. The 100-percent post-consumer PP package includes an injection molded container and lid. The package, made for cream and lotion, is made with resins that have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration letters of non-objection for 100-percent content. The material has consistent quality that Lush's injection molding partner, Plascon Plastics, was able to process with confidence.

"This program was created to encourage innovators to address technical challenges facing plastic recyclers," said John Standish, APR's technical director, said in a statement. "We recognize that innovation drives the growth of recycling, and is essential to the success of the plastics recycling industry."

APR will feature the showcase winners during a webinar scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern on March 21.

More information about the recycling showcase is available at the APR website.