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Recycling associations create global partnership to harmonize testing

Called the Global Plastics Outreach Alliance, the coalition is designed to harmonize global testing protocols related to plastics recycling.


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October 10, 2017 by Canadian Plastics

Three major plastics recycling organizations have formed a partnership to harmonize design guidelines and coordinate efforts on testing protocols.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), based in the U.S., is joining with Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) and the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) to create the Global Plastics Outreach Alliance, which is designed to serve as a coordinated voice for the plastics recycling industry.

“All of our organizations over the years have developed testing protocols to determine the recyclability of a package or innovation,” Steve Alexander, president of APR, said in a statement. “As consumer brand companies expand their focus on sustainability, we identified differences between our protocols, which may require a company to conduct three separate tests to achieve the same recyclability designation. We hope to clarify those differences and align all segments of our testing protocols.”

Andreas Christel, who represents EPBP, cites PET recyclability tests as an example of the importance of the group effort. “In an ever-changing global economy, the last thing we need in the plastics recycling world is to make it more difficult for packaging engineers and designers to understand what protocol the innovation should address in order to assure recyclability,” he said. “This effort will go a long way toward creating a truly global plastics recycling industry standard for certain resins.”

The alliance will provide industry updates at the APR meeting on Oct. 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh; the PRE meeting set for Nov. 23, 2017, in Budapest, Hungary; and at the Plastics Recycling Conference to be held on Feb. 19-22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.