Manufacturers: Please Use More Recycled Resins and Become ‘Champions,’ Urges APR

by | Oct 19, 2017

Manufacturers are being asked to identify and use more postconsumer resin in their industrial applications; the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) is calling on the manufacturing industry to increase the use of these recycled resins in order to boost market demand and improve plastic recycling in North America. A top waste management executive from Procter & Gamble is urging companies to participate.

APR, the trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, has launched what it calls the Recycling Demand Champion Campaign, designed to increase the use of polyolefin post consumer resin (PCR). The focus is on Work in Process items used in manufacturing, including everyday industrial applications such as trash cans, pallets and tote boxes.

Companies that join the Recycling Demand Champions are asked to regularly report progress on their increased use of PCR in these areas. Positive impacts, as the use of PCR increases, may be aggregated and collectively reported, APR says. The program is open to anyone in the industry. “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,” says Steve Sikra, Chair of the APR Rigids Committee and associate director for solid waste management for Procter & Gamble.

The initial Recycling Demand Champions include Berry Global, Campbell Soup Co., Coca-Cola NA, Envision Plastics, Keurig Green Mountain, KW Plastics, Merlin Plastics, Plastipak/Clean Tech Inc., Procter & Gamble, and Target Corp.

The program represents a different way for major brands and manufacturers to identify an expanded menu of options for the use of recycled material in a broader array of products, APR president Steve Alexander says. “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,” he says. “Any company looking to catalyze those benefits can have a positive impact on the recycling system by directing those recycled resins into Work in Progress goods that they are already purchasing on a regular basis.”

With Target’s recent membership in APR (its first major retail member), the organization says its engagement across the full supply chain of materials is complete: 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.

Demand Champions will sign a letter of intent to identify and use these Work in Progress items 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. APR says that now that the program has launched, recruitment efforts will accelerate.

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