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FPI, APR Release "Design Guide for Foodservice Plastics Recyclability"

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The new guide is intended to provide support to the foodservice packaging supply chain, which is making decisions related to packaging design and factors impacting the recyclability of these materials.

The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), in collaboration with the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR), released a new guide designed to provide education and resources on the recycling process, packaging formats and the components that impact recyclability related to foodservice packaging.  

The "Design Guide for Foodservice Plastics Recyclability" is intended to provide support to the foodservice packaging supply chain—particularly raw material suppliers, packaging manufacturers and foodservice operators—which is making decisions related to packaging design and factors impacting the recyclability of these materials.

Developed by FPI and APR, the guide adapts the "APR Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability" to specifically address foodservice packaging and other plastic foodservice items. The guide features:

  • General overview of the recycling process, including the sorting, separation, reprocessing and end use of these plastic materials.
  • Guidance for foodservice packaging related to color, density, resin identification code and dimensions.
  • Design guide recyclability checklist broken out by resin type, including polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, polystyrene, expanded polystyrene and polylactic acid.

The two associations have partnered for several years to advance the recycling of plastic foodservice packaging. This guide addresses plastic foodservice packaging and other items entering post-consumer collection and recycling systems most widely used in North America.

“Ensuring that more foodservice packaging is recycled is a complex challenge. It requires that we collaborate with industry leaders and support those along the supply chain to increase the ability to recycle these materials,” said Natha Dempsey, president of FPI, in a statement. “This guide will help by providing insight into the recycling process and how it impacts overall recyclability.”

“APR is pleased to collaborate with FPI to ensure that more packaging is designed to be fully compatible with today’s recycling systems in North America,” said Steve Alexander, president and CEO of APR, in a statement. “Poor package design leads to contamination in the recycling stream, which impacts not only the recyclers but also the brands creating the packaging. It reduces the quality of PCR [post-consumer resin] that brands ultimately need to achieve their corporate sustainability goals.”

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