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Amendments proposed for US plastic scrap specifications

Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 | Author: Paul Sanderson

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A specification for recycling plastic that is expected to become a global standard has had a number of amendments proposed.

As reported by scrap-ex news in August (see story here), the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) issued a specification for plastic scrap that it expected to become a global standard for the trade of recyclable plastics.

However, the organisation’s Plastics Recycling Council (PRC) has proposed amendments to these specifications, which were being debated by the ISRI Board of Directors yesterday.

It has suggested that caps, enclosures and labels should be expected to be included in collection programmes and that it can be included unwashed.

It has also proposed that the numbering system be removed so that 100 – PET Mixed 70/30 Green simply becomes PET Mixed Bottles. While 200 – HDPE Mixed Color becomes HDPE Mixed Color Bottles and 201 – HDPE Natural Bottles (Unpigmented) is named just HDPE Natural Bottles (Unpigmented).

The PRC has also made the following recommendation:

  • Mixed Unsorted 1-7 bottles and containers –this grade is made up of PET bottles and HDPE bottles from residential recycling programmes in which no positive sorting of bottles has occurred and only mixed rigid plastics have been removed.

Acceptable materials include drinks bottles, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, yoghurt pots and other food and beverage containers.  Non-bottle containers may consist of cups, trays, clamshells and tubs. Glass bottles, tin and aluminium cans are not allowed in the grade.

The contamination level must be less than 2 per cent. Contaminants include bulky rigid plastics such as crates, buckets, pails, toys, furniture and non-specified plastic or non-plastic material.

  • Mixed Sorted 3-7 bottles and containers – this grade primarily consists of mixed bottles and containers from residential recycling programmes in which most of the PET bottles, HDPE bottles and mixed bulky plastics have been positively sorted. The grade may include PET and HDPE, but primarily consists of all leftover plastics materials remaining after they have been picked out. Non-bottle containers may consist of items such as cups, trays, clamshells and tubs. Glass bottles and tin or aluminium cans are not allowed. Products include mixed household items and come from post-consumer items. Contamination levels must be less than 2 per cent. Other contaminants include bulky rigid plastics and non-specified plastic or non-plastic material.
  • Mixed bulky plastics – this grade primarily consists of non bottle PE and PP bulky rigid plastic typically collected in a residential recycling MRF. This grade should not contain any mixed 1-7 bottles and containers.
  • Products come from post-consumer sources. The loads must contain less than 2 per cent of non-specified plastic or non-plastic material. 
Category: Recycling
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