Group unveils resin packaging recycling model
Posted by Jenni Spinner, Senior Editor -- Packaging Digest, 10/16/2012 10:53:00 AM
The PET Resin Association (PETRA) has unveiled a pioneering recyclability-assessment model that includes testing and evaluation criteria for special-use and innovative resins having a low market presence.
The model also calls for PETRA to provide industry-representative control resins to testers using the model, and commits PETRA to funding annual third-party testing and monitoring of the PET resin stream once the model is widely used.
PETRA officials say their Recyclability & Innovation Model was designed to combine the most progressive elements of existing European and North American recyclability initiatives without sacrificing rigorous testing benchmarks or compromising innovation.
"We believe the PETRA Model will increase both innovation and recyclability testing by focusing on real-market resin performance and the evaluation needs of producers, brand owners and recyclers," said Ralph Vasami, executive director of PETRA. "Confirming the viability of promising resin variants is vital to advancing PET resin science and the use of recycled material."
The voluntary PETRA Model allows for testing innovations levels of 2% and 10%, which encompass the vast majority of today's new PET resin variants. It also includes criteria for testing at the more robust levels of 25% and 50%.
By comparison, current recyclability guidelines in the U.S. restrict resin testing to concentrations of 25% or 50% to minimize processing challenges to the broadest possible range of recyclers. PETRA says that type of approach creates artificially restrictive barriers that can preclude the introduction of resin improvements and make product differentiation difficult.
"The PETRA Model provides a forward-looking means of assessing recyclability that integrates the need for continued innovation with stringent resin testing and monitoring to quantify potential changes in recyclability," added Vasami.
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