North American and EU Plastic Trade Associations Create Global Coalition to Harmonize Testing Protocols
Three major international plastics recycling organizations have announced a partnership designed to coordinate efforts on testing protocols.
The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), and the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) recently formed the Global Plastics Outreach Alliance with a goal of harmonizing relative Design Guides and Testing Protocols, and serve as a coordinated industry voice to create a Global Plastics Protocol.
All of our organizations over the years have developed testing protocols to determine the recyclability of a package or innovation, commented Steve Alexander, President of APR, which is based in Washington, DC. As consumer brand companies expand their focus on sustainability, we identified differences between our protocols, which may require a company to conduct 3 separate tests to achieve the same recyclability designation. We hope to clarify those differences and align all segments of our testing protocols. This exercise will also allow us to provide information to the New Plastics Economy (NPE) program of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Ton Emans, President of Plastics Recyclers Europe, pointed out the importance of having a coordinated voice of the plastics recycling industry. There has been a tremendous amount of work done to date that greatly improved the ability of a package or material to be recycled from a design and collection standpoint, commented Emans.
Andreas Christel, who represents EPBP, pointed to PET recyclability tests as an example of the importance of the group effort. In an ever-changing global economy, the last thing we need in the plastics recycling world is to make it more difficult for packaging engineers and designers to understand what protocol the innovation should address in order to assure recyclability. This effort will go a long way toward creating a truly global plastics recycling industry standard for certain resins.
The Alliance will provide industry updates at the APR meeting October 17th (Pittsburgh, PA) PRE meeting November 23rd (Budapest, Hungary) and at the Plastics Recycling Conference February 19-22nd (Nashville, TN).
The Association of Plastic Recyclers is The Voice of Plastics Recycling®. As the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. APR advocates the recycling of all plastics.
Plastics Recyclers Europe is the EU which gathers recyclers from across Europe.
It was established in 1996 to represent plastics recyclers including National Associations and individual member companies.
PRE covers around 80% of the European Plastic Recycling Industry. Today the organization has a network of more than 120 members from all over Europe.
The European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) is a voluntary initiative supported by the European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW), the European Association of Plastic Recycling and Recovery Organizations (EPRO), Petcore Europe, Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) and the European non-alcoholic beverages association (UNESDA).
The Platform consists of technical experts in the field of PET production, design and recycling, whose only objective is the evaluation of new technologies and providing an independent and confidential assessment of their impact on the PET recycling processes across Europe.