PET Recycling Calculator App Reveals Potential Impact on Recycling Stream

To help users calculate the recyclability of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and containers, Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) has developed a new free iPhone and Android application. The app can show how compatible a specific package may be with today’s recycling systems and its impact on recycled PET (rPET) production, PTI reports.

The PET Packaging Recycling Calculator app demonstrates how new resins, additives, and multilayer structures can affect the next generation of PET (rPET), which is produced from these recycled containers. The calculator can help users determine whether or not they should consider more in-depth testing.

Frank Schloss, vice president, PTI, explains: "The question that we all need to address is what is going to happen to that bottle or PET package when it is time to dispose of it? Should the consumer include it with their recyclables? Can it be easily sorted using today’s manual and automated processes? Can it be turned into high quality rPET or will it contribute to the degradation of the recycled material supply? The only way for brand owners to really be able to claim that their package is fully recyclable and meets APR guidelines is to subject it to testing that can support their position.” 

Once installed, the app allows users to choose the PET resin type from listed options; indicate whether the package is multilayer (if so, select the second material); indicate whether or not additives, coatings, or labels have been used (if so, what type); and indicate whether the label releases in a hot caustic wash, inks bleed or transfer onto the PET during the wash, containers have a closure, seal, other attachments (if so, what material); and whether the containers float in water.

Users are ultimately provided with a "Conclusions" screen, with answers falling into one of three categories: recycle guidelines appear to be met; some components appear to be problematic for recycling; or package appears to be problematic for recycling.

Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) provides preform and package design, package development, rapid prototyping, pre-production prototyping, and material evaluation engineering services for the plastic packaging industry. For more info: www.plastictechnologies.com.
 

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