The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Bringing Stakeholders Together at APR’s First-Ever APR Design® Guide For Plastics Recyclability Regional Training Conference

Attendees learn about the VDRS testing facility

Last week, the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) held the first ever APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Regional Training Conference. Consumer brand companies, resin producers, packaging manufacturers, and others assembled to learn how materials flow through the recycling system. Van Dyk Recycling Solutions hosted the event at its state-of-the-art Technology and Material Test Center in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Attendees and APR staff engaged in robust discussions about the technologies, capabilities, and limitations of the recycling system as a whole, as well as how plastic packaging can be designed to be compatible with the recycling process.

In addition to classroom-style presentations, the training included a guided tour of an operating material recovery facility (MRF). At the MRF, attendees observed the everyday reality of contamination in the recycling stream. They saw how packaging that is incompatible with sortation infrastructure ends up in the wrong place.

Attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to check out the new Van Dyk facility, where live demonstrations illustrated APR's Sortation Potential Protocols. The live demonstrations gave attendees a tactile opportunity to experience how package features and components – like size, shape, and labels – ultimately determine how that package is sorted.

This two-day training session was the first to provide an overview of plastics recyclability for a broader audience of packaging engineers and designers. APR also runs APR Design® Guide Training Programs for brand companies and manufacturers that are tailored to that the particular company's needs

APR was thrilled to see such diverse stakeholders coming together with the common goal to design recyclable packaging. We look forward to hosting similar trainings in the future. Information about APR's next regional training conference on the West Coast is coming soon.

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