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PETRA creates Recyclability & Innovation Model

North America – Labelling PET as ‘€˜the world’€™s most commonly recycled plastic’€™, North America’€™s PET Resin Association (PETRA) is emphasising that incorporated resin variants with a low market presence should meet the same requirement. Stating that, in many cases, this can ‘€˜discourage the introduction of beneficial innovations’€™, the association has come forward with a recyclability assessment model tailored to this niche market.

According to PETRA, the Recyclability & Innovation Model allows for testing innovation levels of 2% and 10%, though it includes criteria for testing at the more ‘€˜robust’€™ levels of 25% and 50%. The association adds that the model was designed with the goal of combining the ‘€˜most progressive elements of existing European and North American recyclability initiatives – without sacrificing rigorous testing benchmarks or compromising innovation’€™.

The European PET Bottle Platform’€™s recently-published PET Recycling Test revolves around recycling and business systems that ‘€˜differ significantly’€™ from North America. Therefore, it is ‘€˜difficult to adopt the full protocol’€™ for US and Canadian use, PETRA states.

PETRA’€™s Executive Director Ralph Vasami comments: ‘€˜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.’€™ He also asserts that the viability of promising resin variants ‘€˜is vital to advancing PET resin science’€™ and the use of recycled material.

Once the resin-specific model has been widely embraced by the industry, PETRA will commit itself to ‘€˜fund annual independent testing of the combined PET resin stream in order to monitor the on-going integrity of the virgin PET resin stream’€™, it has stated.

According to PETRA, current recyclability guidelines in the USA restrict resin testing to concentrations of 25% or 50% in order to downscale processing challenges for most recyclers, thus creating ‘€˜artificially restrictive barriers’€™.

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