The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • HDPE



  1. All plastic dispensers are preferred when made with: PP, HDPE, LDPE, PE copolymers including TPO’s and EVA, TPE elastomers
  2. And, when all components shown to float in water


Polypropylene dispensers

The APR recognizes that polypropylene is perhaps the most commonly used material for dispensers. Complete HDPE packages with PP dispensers are considered recyclable (as long as all other components are Preferred), but with a Detrimental feature. Since polypropylene floats in water like polyethylene it is not separated in the reclaimers float-sink tank. When blended with HDPE it negatively affects the impact properties and can render the material brittle. Although very small amounts of PP, such as that contributed by labels, are regularly accepted by HDPE reclaimers, closures and dispensers comprising a larger weight percentage of the package have a greater negative affect.


None specified


Valves containing Silicone (density and floatability will vary)

Check valves in spray dispensers or pumps may be made of silicone as an alternative to metals. While polymers are generally preferable to metals, the composition of a silicone part may cause it to be incompatible with HDPE recycling. It should sink in the sink/float system or be compatible with HDPE if it floats

Companies that are considering such components and are unsure of their compatibility with recycling should ask their suppliers to provide APR test results


Valves or Springs made of Metal

Sortation testing for metal components will result in either a Detrimental or a Renders Non-Recyclable ruling. Dark colors cannot be Preferred at this time.

Metal contamination is highly undesirable in the HDPE reclaiming process. Metals create wear in process machinery, and increase operation costs and yield loss. While metals sink in the float/sink tank and are therefore easily separable from HDPE flakes, they contribute wear to size reduction machinery. MRFs and HDPE reclaimers use magnets, eddy current separators and metal detectors to keep packages with metal components out of the process stream. Any metal components, such as pump springs, valves, safety seals, or lidding that trigger these devices will cause the entire plastic item to be removed from the stream and not recycled.


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