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The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced the development of the APR Guide for Plastic Sorting Best Management Practices, to help standardize data collection in studies that seek to identify the composition of plastics in the waste and recycling stream. The guide is part of an overall effort by APR, the international trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, to optimize plastics recycling.

Developed in conjunction with the American Chemistry Council and More Recycling, the guide provides three levels of newly defined sorting categories that address a variety of factors considered when waste/plastic sorts are conducted, including: • Budget
• A community’s specific recyclables list
• Anticipated waste stream
• Items considered problematic

“Optimizing plastic recycling requires understanding what types of plastic materials are in the recycling stream,” commented Liz Bedard, APR Director of the Olefin/ Rigids Program. “Municipalities and states regularly sort waste/recyclables to understand their streams. If they utilize the APR Plastic Sorting BMPs, The flexibility with the sorting categories would allow all studies to draw comparisons, develop trending data, and improve overall knowledge about plastic waste composition.”

Created to facilitate better data collection through consistent use of terminology and categorization, this guide defines plastic sorting categories by resin and form. The categories align with plastic recycling commodities that are traded once the material has been sorted at a materials recovery facility. The terms also align with annual plastic recycling tracking. If a study is not in a position to change categories, the guide may be utilized to add more clarity to existing category titles.

“APR strives to increase the supply, enhance the quality, and expand demand of recycled plastics. This resource directly addresses those goals, ” says Steve Alexander, President and CEO of APR. “We hope the plastics recycling industry will utilize the BMPS to improve recovery approaches, understand available volumes, identify trends, and anticipate needed capital investments.”

Click here to access the guide.