The Association of Plastic Recyclers is out with updated guidance for polyethylene film recycling.
APR said two testing protocols, the PE Film Critical Guidance Test Protocol and the Metal Sortation Potential Test Protocol, help determine whether film packaging is compatible with current recycling infrastructure.
The group also published the new PE Film Standard Processing Lab Practices as part of the group's Design Guild for Plastics Recyclability.
"The test protocols, resulting from extensive industry collaboration, measure the capability of innovative film packaging to be sorted and recycled into new thin film applications. The PE Film Standard Processing Lab Practices document details the steps recommended by the APR to prepare PE film and flexible products for use in protocols that evaluate the compatibility of the materials with commercial PE film recycling processes," the group explained.
Sandi Childs is director of films and flexible packaging at APR. "PE film and flexible packaging is a fast-growing segment for consumer brands," she said in a statement. "The ability to measure compatibility with recycling is vital to keeping a clean stream of materials flowing to recyclers from retail store drop-off bins."
Companies that successfully complete protocols with third-party testing labs can receive APR Critical Guidance Recognition for their materials. APR conducts a formal review to consider approval. If approval is granted, companies can market their innovations as being recognized by APR and compatible with current recycling infrastructure.
"Cleaner supply results in more efficient processing, lower cost, and higher quality PCR [post-consumer resin] that ultimately delivers products consumers want to buy," APR CEO Steve Alexander said in a statement.