FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 18, 2017
APR Announces Recycling Demand Champion Campaign
Representatives of Entire Supply Chain Commit
The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the leading international trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, today announced a new program designed to expand market demand for recycled resins and improve plastic recycling in North America.
The APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign will increase the use of polyolefin (PP or PE) postconsumer resin (PCR). Our focus is on “Work in Process” (WIP) items used in manufacturing. These include everyday industrial applications such as trash cans, pallets and tote boxes.
Demand Champions will sign a letter of intent to identify and use these WIPs in their facilities and require PCR content in them. As the program adds more participants, this will increase the demand for post-consumer recycled polyolefins.
“This program will drive demand for broad specification PCR produced from mixed residential plastics,” explains Liz Bedard, Director of the APR Rigid Plastic Recycling Program. “We have identified potential end markets for PCR in WIP durable goods such as crates, tote boxes, cans, pails, drums, trash or recycle bins, pallets, transport packaging and other items.”
“We know there are increased environmental and economic benefits that come from recycling, but only if the materials recycled are made into new products or goods,” says Steve Alexander, President of APR. “Any company looking to catalyze those benefits can have a positive impact on the recycling system by directing those recycled resins into WIP goods that they are already purchasing on a regular basis.”
APR will work to expand participation in this program in partnership with brand owners, retailers, trade organizations, and other members of the recycling value chain. “We welcome any company to join the Demand Champion program,” adds Alexander.
“This program is open to anyone in the industry,” says Steve Sikra, Chair of the APR Rigids Committee and Associate Director for Solid Waste Management, The Procter & Gamble Company. “APR has the tools and connections to make the use of PCR straightforward in these WIP items. Let's use this as a platform to advance PCR use.”
In alphabetical order, the initial Recycling Demand Champions are: Berry Global, Campbells Soup Co., Coca-Cola North America, Envision Plastics, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., KW Plastics, Merlin Plastics, Plastipak/Clean Tech Inc., The Procter & Gamble Company and Target Corp. Participating companies will regularly report progress updating their increased use of PCR in these areas, so positive impacts expanding and increasing the use of PCR may be anonymously aggregated and collectively reported.
“This program represents a critical step in expanding the use of PCR in the marketplace,” comments Steve Alexander, APR President. “It represents a major shift in the paradigm of major brands and manufacturers in identifying an expanded menu of options for the use of recycled material in a broader array of products.”
Target recently became the first major retail member of APR. This completes APR’s engagement across the full supply chain of materials: MRFs, equipment suppliers, recyclers, converters, consumer brand companies, and retailers. Signing on to the APR Recycling Demand Champion Program builds on the five sustainable packaging goals that Target announced earlier this year.
Tom Busard, President of Clean Tech and former Chair of the APR Board, says “As both a container manufacturer and plastic recycler, we are uniquely positioned to understand the impact of this program from both the supply and demand side of the industry.”
“The initial participants represent a starting point. We began approaching companies in the past several weeks, and have been greatly encouraged by the response,” Alexander says. “Now that the program has been launched, recruitment efforts will accelerate, and we anticipate announcing a broader group of participants of companies of all sizes and industry focus at the Plastics Recycling Conference in February.” Click here for additional information about this campaign.
APR Communications Director