The full ASTM International Inc. committee charged with approving any new plastics industry resin ID code is voting on eight proposals that passed out of the subcommittee in the first vote.
The proposals under consideration include adding code 8 for polycarbonate and code 9 for linear low density polyethylene. Previous proposals to add code 10 for polylactic acid and code 11 for polyesters that are not PET are not under consideration at this time.
Current balloting will continue through Dec. 21, but several more ballots are necessary before a final plan takes shape. Final changes are likely one to three years away.
The resin identification code process is long and we have not seen all the proposals yet, said Dave Cornell, technical director for the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers in Washington.
Cornell said he believes that resins and resin families with annual usage of 50 million to 100 million pounds should have their own resin identification code number and that PLA would meet that minimum-tonnage level.
The resin ID code was not developed as a recycling code, but it is what consumers and municipalities use to identify plastic products for recycling. PET, high density PE, PVC, LDPE, polypropylene and polystyrene now are designated 1-6, respectively, with everything else given a 7.
The code was developed in 1988 by the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., but the task of possibly changing elements of the code has since been turned over to West Conshohocken, Pa.-based ASTM.
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