Plastics PCR Guidelines Released
Thursday 16 September 2010Retailers and brand owners are increasingly interested in optimizing the use of recycled content in packaging, since this environmental strategy is well understood by consumers. In response, the SPC launched two "Using Recycled Content Projects" - one for plastics and one for fiber - with the goal of helping converters better communicate to retail buyers what the opportunities and challenges are for using recycled content in specific high-volume product category packaging applications.
In September 2010, the SPC released Guidelines for Post Consumer Recycled Content in Plastic Packaging. The Guidelines were developed with two primary audiences in mind - retailer buyers and converters. It is intended to facilitate better communications between the two regarding aggressive, yet realistic expectations for the use of post consumer recycled content in various plastic packaging formats used for specific high sales volume product in the retail categories of beverages, dairy, electronics, household care and laundry, over the counter pharmaceuticals, personal care products and snacks. Quick reference charts provide a snapshot of the performance requirements, regulatory, technical and aesthetic considerations and market availability challenges associated with the use of recycled content. More technical information including solutions for overcoming many of the challenges is detailed in the document.
Another working group of 30 companies has been formed to develop practical guidance for the appropriate use of recycled content in fiber packaging. This project has similar objectives to the plastics recycled content project - educating retail buyers about the opportunities, challenges and trade-offs involved with recycled content use in fiber packaging and facilitating more and better communications between retail buyers, CPGs and converters. The working group will look at using recycled (post industrial, pre-consumer and post consumer) content in packaging by fiber type (bleached, unbleached, coated, corrugated, etc.) and packaging format (box, bag, spiral-would can, etc.) including a mapping of the most appropriate use(s) to specific product applications (cereal boxes, confectionary pouches, frozen juice concentrate cans, etc.).