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Chasing arrows stay-for now

The Society for the Plastics Industry (SPI) has decided not to change its resin identification code and the chasing arrows symbol, ending more than a year of negotiations with the National Recycling Coalition (NRC).

The two groups reached a compromise to phase out the chasing arrows, only to have the NRC Board reject the agreement. Environmental groups charge that the public misunderstands the code, assuming it means the packaging is always recyclable. They are expected to push for legislation that alters or bans the use of the chasing arrows symbol in the 39 states in which its use is now required. SPI intends to defend the use of its symbol, especially on plastic bottles and rigid containers for which the code was developed. Use of the code, SPI indicated, also would be acceptable on other plastic products if its purpose was to identify resin content as a means of encouraging recycling and was not intended to imply recyclability throughout the country.

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