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Rigid Plastics Recycling Committee

APR created the Rigid Plastics Recycling Program to stimulate recycling of rigid plastics beyond #1 and #2 bottles. Rigid plastic recycling “stakeholders” (membership list below) - collectors, recyclers, brand users, resin producers and public policy makers – have joined together to address the issues, concerns, problems and possible solutions.

The Rigids group has focused on both the supply and demand of non-bottle plastic recycling; Here is review of some of their projects.

  • Grocery Store Rigid Plastics - It is conservatively estimated that US grocery stores generate 350 million pounds per year of PP and HDPE, and, unfortunately, the vast majority of this material is currently handled as waste. The APR Rigids Program is promoting the recovery of this important recycled feedstock through, free Technical Assistance Program and other helpful resources.
  • Annual “Each State’s Largest City” Survey - Understanding nationwide collection trends for municipal recycling is important to all rigid plastic stakeholders. Consequently, each year the Rigids Committee surveys the largest cities in each state to determine their rigid plastics collection policies.
  • “Fit for Use” Polypropylene Recycled Resin Survey - The results of the “Fit for Use” survey help provide the “demand side” of the equation to potential PP PCR suppliers by demonstrating demand quantities as well as qualities for PP PCR. The twenty two Brand Owners’ and convertors who responded identified a total PP PCR demand of over 1 billion pounds per year within the next three years.
  • National Rigid Bale Sort and Supply Estimate Report - This study, considered one of the most thorough non-bottle rigid bale sorts done to date, provided the Rigids Committee members with data on the type, volume and destination of non-bottle rigid plastics currently being collected and the potential volume available for recycling.  The National Bale Sort data is being updated in 2014 with another full survey of non-bottle plastic bales being generated by MRFs.  
  • Model Bale Specifications - The world of recycling contains conflicting definitions for rigid plastics. Consequently, a Rigids Subcommittee is developing model rigid plastic bale specifications to help ease and simplify communication between generators and consumers of recyclable rigid plastics.

The rigid plastics recycling committe has developed special interest subcommittees.

  • Thermoform Recycling Subcommittee - The goal of this subcommittee is to gather data on the North American plastic sheet market, identify recycling barriers and best practices for recycling thermoforms, and share that information with MRFs, PRFs and municipalities in order to promote recycling opportunities.
  • Polypropylene Market Development Subcommittee - The goal of this subcommittee is to stimulate the growth of and increase the availability and use of postconsumer recycled polypropylene.

Please contact Liz Bedard, Rigids Program Director, for additional information.

Current Rigids Committee Members: Please click here to view the Members Only section.