The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), which together represent nearly all U.S. postconsumer plastic recycling companies, has announced the publication of joint plastic model bale specifications to provide clarity and uniformity within the industry. These model bale specifications are the results of a Plastic Scrap Specification Taskforce, which the two organizations formed with the goals of finding common ground on the specifications and thereby improving the efficiency of trade.
“With the creation of uniform specifications, now everyone in the plastics recycling industry can speak the same language,” says Robin Wiener, President of ISRI. “Recognizing a need within the industry, the joint taskforce first sought to develop collective specifications for more popular grades, and now will work in cooperation to issue specifications for additional grades. This first-of-its-kind collaboration better sets the parameters for agreements between buyers and sellers.”
The new model specifications include Bulky Rigids, Tubs and Lids with Bulky, and Tubs and Lids without Bulky. Each association will still publish the model specifications individually, but those will be based on the same description language to avoid competing standards that may otherwise force the industry to choose between the two or disregard them all together. ISRI released its specifications as part of its updated Scrap Specification Circular (p. 39-42).
“The goal of APR is to secure more good material that is available for reclamation,” says Tom Busard, Chairman of APR, and Vice President of Plastipak Corp. “We have had industry bale specifications for many years. By working with the scrap industry, we hope to identify and capture more plastic packaging that may not have been separated and made available for recycling. We are always looking for sources of good, clean material, and hope these joint efforts will help us achieve that goal.”
The taskforce is seeking input from other stakeholders with interest in uniform scrap specifications for additional grades.