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APR Design Guide

Type Category Code New Title
HDPE Application HDPE-A-01 HDPE Bottle Application Test
HDPE Critical HDPE-CG-01 HDPE Critical Guidance
HDPE Critical HDPE-CG-02 Closure Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-01 HDPE Bleeding Label Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-02 HDPE Flake Wash Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-03 HDPE/PP Degradable Additives Test
PE Film Benchmark Film-B-01 APR Benchmark Polyethylene(PE) Films and Flexible Packaging Innovation Test Protocol
PET Applications PET-A-01 PET Bottle Applications Test
PET Benchmark PET-B-01 Flake to Plaque Bleeding Label Test
PET Benchmark PET-B-02 Flake to Plaque Thermoform Label Test
PET Critical PET-CG-01 PET Critical Guidance
PET Critical PET-CG-02 Closure Test
PET Critical PET-CG-03 Sleeve Label Test
PET Critical PET-CG-04 Pressure Sensitive Label Test
PET Critical PET-CG-05 Direct Print Label Test
PET Reclaimers PET-R-01 PET Oven Bake Test
PET Reclaimers PET-R-02 PET Barrier Test
PET Reclaimers PET-R-03 PET Dissolution Test
PET Screening PET-S-01 Bleeding Label Test
PET Screening PET-S-02 PET Flake Wash Test
PET Screening PET-S-03 Quick Test for Color
PET Screening PET-S-04 Thermoform Label Test
PET Screening PET-S-05 Labels, Closures and Attachments Floatability Test
PET Screening PET-S-06 PET Degradable Additives Test
PP Benchmark PP-B-01 PP Benchmark Test
PP Critical PP-CG-01 PP Critical Guidance
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-01 Evaluation of the Near Infrared (NIR) Sorting Potential of a Whole Plastic Article
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-02 Evaluation of Size Sorting Potential for Articles with at least 2 Dimensions Less than 2 Inches
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-03 Evaluation of Sorting Potential for Plastic Articles Utilizing Metal, Metalized, or Metallic Printed Components
Sorting Practice Sort-PR-01 A Practice for Compressing Plastic Articles for Laboratory Evaluation

Type Category Code New Title
HDPE Application HDPE-A-01 HDPE Bottle Application Test
HDPE Critical HDPE-CG-01 HDPE Critical Guidance
HDPE Critical HDPE-CG-02 Closure Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-01 HDPE Bleeding Label Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-02 HDPE Flake Wash Test
HDPE Screening HDPE-S-03 HDPE/PP Degradable Additives Test
PE Film Benchmark Film-B-01 APR Benchmark Polyethylene(PE) Films and Flexible Packaging Innovation Test Protocol
PET Applications PET-A-01 PET Bottle Applications Test
PET Benchmark PET-B-01 Benchmark Test for Clear PET Resin and Molded Articles
PET Benchmark PET-B-02 Benchmark Test for Clear PET Articles with Labels and Closures
PET Critical PET-CG-01 Critical Guidance Protocol for Clear PET Resin and Molded Articles
PET Critical PET-CG-02 Critical Guidance Protocol for Clear PET Articles with Labels and Closures
PET Practices PET-P-00 PET Standard Laboratory Processing Practices
PET Screening PET-S-01 Labels for PET - Wash Water Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-02 Measurement of PET Flake or Pellet Discoloration
PET Screening PET-S-03 PET Heat History and Discoloration Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-04 PET Package Materials Balance
PET Screening PET-S-05 PET Packaging Component Sink or Float Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-06 PET Degradable Additives Test
PET Screening PET-S-07 PET IV Build Rate Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-08 PET Flake Clumping Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-09 Evaluation of PET Plaques for Color, Haze and Inclusions
PET Screening PET-S-10 PET Flake Oven Bake Evaluation
PET Screening PET-S-11 PET Barrier Materials Test
PET Screening PET-S-12 PET Dissolution Test
PP Benchmark PP-B-01 PP Benchmark Test
PP Critical PP-CG-01 PP Critical Guidance
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-01 Evaluation of the Near Infrared (NIR) Sorting Potential of a Whole Plastic Article
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-02 Evaluation of Size Sorting Potential for Articles with at least 2 Dimensions Less than 2 Inches
Sorting Benchmark Sort-B-03 Evaluation of Sorting Potential for Plastic Articles Utilizing Metal, Metalized, or Metallic Printed Components
Sorting Practice Sort-PR-01 A Practice for Compressing Plastic Articles for Laboratory Evaluation

After a full review of the APR Design® Guide for Plastic Recyclability, it is possible that you still have questions, or are involved in an innovation that has not been addressed. We want to help answer questions that allow you to create products that are compatible with plastics recycling! 

Questions about Rigid Plastics?  Contact John Standish.

Questions about Films & Flexible Packaging?  Contact Sandi Childs.

Working with Brand Owners to Meet Sustainability Goals

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, recognizes that companies want to design packaging that is recyclable and sustainable. The APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability is the most comprehensive resource in the marketplace today that helps companies design packaging that is compatible with existing recycling infrastructure. The APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Training Program brings these resources directly to brand owners and their packaging professionals through customized sessions designed to meet the specific needs of each company. The goal of each program is to encourage packaging and design professionals to incorporate recyclable design elements during the initial stages, and throughout the design of new packaging concepts.

Typical Training Session:

  • Executive session designed to provide an APR introduction to senior management
  • Outline APR’s definition of plastics recyclability
  • Outline the importance of package design in the recycling process
  • Present APR’s Recyclability Categories
  • Outline how implementing The APR Design® Guide throughout the product design process ensures compatibility with today’s recycling infrastructure
  • A review of the relationship between The APR Design® Guide and the “How2Recycle” label
  • Case studies with specific company products identified during pre-training discussions
  • Wrap-up session with hosts to capture action items and opportunities created by training

Deliverables:

  • Enhanced understanding of the plastics recycling process
  • Greater awareness of the impact of design features on recyclability
  • Ability to design recycle friendly packages
  • Ability to forecast the recyclability of innovations
  • Gain networking contacts for ongoing support

Who Should Attend:

  • Package Design Engineers
  • Sustainability Managers
  • Product & Market Managers
  • Procurement Managers

Past Participants Include:

Coke      DartEm Reflex Print        Silgan     

 

  jnj family of consumer companies logo vertical rgb   UnileverBlue            GMI Corporate Logo V FC   

              

 

 


Click here for additional details.

For more information please contact John Standish.

The APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability is published to help package design engineers at consumer brand companies and converters create packaging that is fully compatible with plastics recycling systems in North America. APR Preferred package design can ensure that recyclers achieve high yields of marketable material with maximum productivity and minimal extra costs. Contamination in the recycling stream by poor package design impacts not only the recyclers, but also the brands creating the packaging - by reducing the quality of PCR that brands ultimately need to achieve their corporate sustainability goals.

APR’s Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability closes the loop between package designers and plastic recyclers with a forum allowing collaboration toward the common goal of creating a Circular Economy for plastics. Preferred package designs drive the Circular Economy by enabling the highest value end use applications for recycled plastic.

The APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability is the most comprehensive resource outlining the plastics recycling industry’s recommendations in the marketplace today. The content is regularly updated to ensure APR’s Recyclability Categories accurately reflect the operations and technology in use by today’s North American plastics recycling infrastructure. Although it is designed as an online resource, with links to all relevant information, a PDF of the complete document can be downloaded as well.

The APR Design® Guide specifically addresses plastic packaging, but the principles can be applied to all potentially recycled plastic items.

APR encourages package designers to utilize The APR Critical Guidance and Responsible Innovation programs, as well as the APR Design® Guide to create the most recyclable packaging. Assistance is available through APR or one of the APR member, independent laboratories found in the member directory.

This guide covers plastic items entering the postconsumer collection and recycling systems most widely used in industry today. These include curbside collection, processing in single stream and dual stream MRF’s, deposit container systems, mixed waste facilities, and grocery store rigid plastic and film collection systems. The impact of package design on automated sortation process steps employed in single stream MRFs and high volume reclamation processes is of primary consideration.  

Before accessing the APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability the user should thoroughly understand the fundamentals of its concept as described in the scope, definition of recyclability and recyclability category tabs below.

 

 

  • SCOPE
  • APR’s DEFINITION OF RECYCLABLE
  • APR’s RECYCLABILITY CATEGORIES
  • DISCLAIMER

This guide covers plastic items entering the postconsumer collection and recycling systems most widely used in industry today. Collection methods include single stream and dual stream MRF’s, deposit container systems, mixed waste facilities, and grocery store rigid plastic and film collection systems. The impact of package design on automated sortation process steps employed in a single stream MRF, as well as high volume recycling processes is of primary consideration.  

Items recovered in recovery systems where they are source-selected and sent to a recycler specializing in this particular item are specifically excluded from this guide.

An item is “recyclable per APR definition” when the following three conditions are met:

  • At least 60% of consumers or communities have access to a collection system that accepts the item
  • The item is most likely sorted correctly into a market-ready bale of a particular plastic meeting industry standard specifications, through commonly used material recovery systems, including single-stream and dual stream MRFs, PRF’s, systems that handle deposit system containers, grocery store rigid plastic and film collection systems.
  • The item can be further processed through a typical recycling process cost effectively into a postconsumer plastic feedstock suitable for use in identifiable new products.

The APR Design® Guide is itemized by design features commonly used with packaging applications. The recycling impact of each design feature is discussed within the Guide. The APR’s guidance on the design feature is developed considering this impact and broken down into four categories which should be thoroughly understood:

  • APR DESIGN GUIDE® PREFERRED: Features readily accepted by MRFs and recyclers since the majority of the industry has the capability to identify, sort, and process a package exhibiting this feature with minimal, or no, negative effect on the productivity of the operation or final product quality. Packages with these features are likely to pass through the recycling process into the most appropriate material stream with the potential of producing high quality material.
  • DETRIMENTAL TO RECYCLING: Features that present known technical challenges for the MRF or recycler’s yield, productivity or final product quality, but are grudgingly tolerated and accepted by the majority of MRFs and recyclers.
  • RENDERS PACKAGE NON-RECYCLABLE PER APR DEFINITION: Features with a significant adverse technical impact on the MRF or recycler’s yield, productivity or final product quality. The majority of MRFs or recyclers cannot remove these features to the degree required to generate a marketable end product.
  • REQUIRES TESTING: In order to determine compatibility with recycling, testing per an APR testing protocol is required. 

This guide has been prepared by the Association of Plastic Recyclers as a service to the plastic packaging industry to promote the most efficient use of the nation’s plastics recycling infrastructure and to enhance the quality and quantity of recycled postconsumer plastics. The information contained herein reflects the input of APR members from a diverse cross-section of the plastics recycling industry, including professionals experienced in the recycling of all postconsumer plastic bottles discussed in this guideline. It offers a valuable overview of how package design impacts conventional plastics recycling systems and provides useful recommendations on how problems routinely encountered by plastics recyclers might be addressed through design changes that make plastic bottles more compatible with current recycling systems. Because new technological developments are always being made, this guide cannot anticipate how these new developments might impact plastic bottle recycling. Thus, while the information in this guide is offered in good faith by APR as an accurate and reliable discussion of the current challenges faced by the plastics recycling industry, it is offered without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, which are expressly disclaimed. APR and its members accept no responsibility for any harm or damages arising from the use of or reliance upon this information by any party. APR intends to update this document periodically to reflect new developments and practices.

For readers who are new to the technical field of plastics recycling, these general resource documents will provide important background about common polymers, a glossary of plastics recycling terms, plastics collection and processing for recycling, and other topics. The knowledge provided in these documents will aid in understanding advanced topics such as test methods and APR’s Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability.

This guide has been prepared by the Association of Plastic Recyclers as a service to the plastic packaging industry to promote the most efficient use of the nation’s plastics recycling infrastructure and to enhance the quality and quantity of recycled postconsumer plastics. The information contained herein reflects the input of APR members from a diverse cross-section of the plastics recycling industry, including professionals experienced in the recycling of all postconsumer plastic bottles discussed in this guideline. It offers a valuable overview of how package design impacts conventional plastics recycling systems and provides useful recommendations on how problems routinely encountered by plastics recyclers might be addressed through design changes that make plastic bottles more compatible with current recycling systems. Because new technological developments are always being made, this guide cannot anticipate how these new developments might impact plastic bottle recycling. Thus, while the information in this guide is offered in good faith by APR as an accurate and reliable discussion of the current challenges faced by the plastics recycling industry, it is offered without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, which are expressly disclaimed. APR and its members accept no responsibility for any harm or damages arising from the use of or reliance upon this information by any party. APR intends to update this document periodically to reflect new developments and practices.