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’.
For more information, visit: www.petresin.org