Going Beyond Collection

Author: Resa Dimino
RRS Senior Consultant

Reprinted with permission from Resource Recycling Inc. magazine, May 2017 issue.

Last year, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Centralized Study on the Availability of Recycling found that a substantial majority of Americans have recycling programs available to them that accept all PET packaging. Included in this designation were bottles and jugs but also non-bottle PET packages – the clamshells, cups, tubs, lids, boxes, trays, egg cartons and similar rigid, non-bottle packaging made of PET (No.1) plastic resin that are increasingly common on retailer shelves.

As use of PET thermoform packaging continues to grow, the industry is being forced to confront an important question: How do we look beyond collection to determine whether a material placed in a recycling bin actually makes it to market?

NAPCOR set out to find an answer in the spring of 2016, seeing it as a good time to benchmark progress toward the group’s ongoing efforts to open markets to PET thermoform materials.

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