The Association of Plastic Recyclers
APR Recyclability Categories


Is my plastic product recycling compatible?

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APR Design® Preferred
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Detrimental to Recycling
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Renders the Package Non-Recyclable
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Requires Testing

The APR Design® Guide classifies the recycling impact of package design features four Recyclability Categories. The guidance is regularly updated to ensure APR’s Recyclability Categories accurately reflect the operations and technology in use by today’s plastics recycling infrastructure.

Companies whose packaging contains features that are Detrimental to Recycling or Render the Package Non-Recyclable are reducing and lowering the quality of their own future supply of post-consumer recycled content. Improving features so that the entire packaging achieves Preferred design supports a healthy recycling system and increases PCR supply.

All features of package design must be accounted for to understand how a whole package will perform in the recycling system. The flow chart below illustrates the steps needed to assess a complete package for recyclability. While the APR Design® Guide can show that an item is technically recyclable, i.e. compatible with a recycling stream in terms of physical and chemical properties of the reprocessed item as feedstock, the need for a collection system and a market must also be satisfied. Learn more about how an item is deemed Recyclable per APR Definition”.

Flow chart: Is my package design for recyclability?

Click to enlarge

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