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Plastic Recycling Group Issues New PET Label Guidelines

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) has issued a new guidance document to address the growing issue of full body sleeves on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.

The Washington-based APR said in a news release that the new guidance, the Sleeve Label Substrate for PET Bottles Critical Guidance Document, addresses several key label design issues that affect the removal of the labels in recycling process and quantifies the effects of label residue on PET bottle recycling.  The APR’s aim with the document is to help packaging decision makers, through testing and data interpretation, select label substrates and materials more compatible with PET bottle recycling than some of the current choices.

The new guidance protocolstreamlines the testing for full body labels on PET bottles, omitting some tests considered not relevant to the labels and expanding on other subjects in the existing PET Bottle Critical Guidance Document, in an effort to reduce testing cost and increase use of the protocol.

“We see a tremendous amount of concern regarding the presence of full sleeve labels on PET bottles and the impact of the labels on the ability of bottles with such labels to be reclaimed using existing recycling technology,’ said APR President Steve Alexander.

“This protocol of testing and data guidance addresses some key issues including quantitative measurement of the tendency of label material residue to clump,” said Dave Cornell, APR technical director.


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