Recyclers urge packagers to design for recycling

Recyclers and product marketers desperate for post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic material are renewing their calls for adherence to the Assn. of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers' Design Guidelines for Plastic Bottle Recycling.

In part, that's because plastics recyclers have had to cut standards to locate material to keep their plants and their customers operating. Clean Tech (Dundee, MI), the recycling operation of Plastipak Packaging (Plymouth, MI) is now accepting materials from as far away as Florida and California, says Tom Busard, Clean Tech president. Deteriorating quality of incoming materials has become a serious issue. "Not only should the [recycled plastics] be clean and uncontaminated, but the right design details make a big difference," points out Steve Babinchak, president of St. Jude Polymers (Frackville, PA). Some progress is noted. Continental White Cap has changed the material for its liners used on polyethylene terephthalate bottles, and Rutgers University is working on a grant from the National Assn. for Plastic Container Recovery to help label converters eliminate the problem of bottle discoloration caused by label inks, says Gerry Claes, Graham Recycling (York, PA). For more details on APR's design guides, contact Tom Rattray at Procter & Gamble (phone: 513/983-2301).

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