- October 21, 2013
HOLLAND, OH | Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) has developed a new free iPhone and Android app to help users calculate the recyclability of their polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, containers, and/or packages. The objective is to determine how compatible a specific package is with today’s recycling systems and its impact on recycled PET (rPET) production.
The PET Packaging Recycling Calculator app allows users to see how the decisions they make concerning materials, barrier, additives, closures, labels, etc., can potentially impact the next generation of PET (rPET) that is produced from these recycled containers.
The free download can be quickly located in the iTunes App Store or Google Play (formerly the Android Market) by searching for “Recycle Calc” and looking for an icon with the familiar PETE resin identification logo.
Users select the PET resin or resins from listed options and indicate whether or not additives, coatings, or labels have been used (and if so, what type). They answers questions including does the label release in a hot caustic wash, do inks bleed or transfer onto the PET during the wash, does the container have a closure, seal, other attachments (if so, what material), and do they float in water.
After all the questions are completed, answers fall 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.
PTI reports it is one of only two US companies approved by the Assn. of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) to provide testing services in conjunction with the organization’s critical guidance documents. The voluntary screening guidelines help companies understand the approximate effect that their material or container might have on the quality of the rPET stream. The APR’s objective is to enhance the quality and quantity of postconsumer plastic packaging materials.
“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,” says Frank Schloss, VP, PTI. 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 their package is fully recyclable and meets APR guidelines is to subject it to testing that can support their position.”