July 5, 2016 - APR Press Release
APR Responds to Plastic Can Recyclability Claims
Container design leads to significant issues in the plastics recycling stream
The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the international trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, responded today to claims by plastic can manufacturers that their products are recyclable, pointing out that a PET can with a metal lid contaminates the PET recycling stream. APR urges caution to those companies considering the use of plastic cans.
“There is a reason Maine, Illinois, and Minnesota imposed restrictions or bans on this type of packaging,” commented Steve Alexander, Executive Director of APR. “A plastic can with a metal lid is a contaminant to PET recycling and not compatible with today’s material recovery and plastics reclamation systems.”
The state restrictions were imposed in response to production of plastic cans in the 1980s and their negative impact on the recycling process. These laws remain in effect today, and led many companies to withdraw support of this type of container.
Although the PET portion of the can may be recyclable, the metal lid is seamed onto the PET. There are no practical solutions to separate the two materials in material recovery facilities (MRFs), rendering the entire container non-recyclable.
Read more ...