Circular by Design: Meeting Demand for Recycled Content by Helping Companies Design for Recyclability
As the Voice of Plastics Recycling®, the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) envisions a world with a circular economy for plastic goods - a world in which companies manufacture recyclable products and consumers buy products made from recycled materials.
An effective recycling chain is of paramount importance in achieving climate and economic sustainability. Using recycled plastics is much less carbon intensive than creating products from virgin plastic. Recycling lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces energy use, prevents waste, and conserves our planet's limited resources.
APR plays a key role in bringing the circular economy to fruition. Our members represent every link in the recycling chain. Because we are involved in every link of the chain, APR's primary goals for years have been:
- Communicating the value of recycling and recycled plastics;
- Expanding demand for recycled content;
- Increasing the supply of recyclable material in the stream; and
- Enhancing the quality of the material in the recycling stream.
Demand is key to a successful circular economy. When consumers demand more products made from recycled material and companies purchase more post-consumer resin (PCR) to make those products, the whole recycling chain thrives. Due to a variety of reasons, including legislative activity and brand sustainability commitments, demand for recycled content is now at an all-time high. The demand for recycled plastics, which can be manufactured into new products, now outweighs the available supply.
Now, our focus must be on meeting that demand.
APR is leading the effort by providing the gold standard guidelines and testing protocols to help companies determine whether their products can be successfully sorted and reprocessed in the current recycling infrastructure. The APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability helps packaging engineers measure each aspect of a package design against industry-accepted criteria to ensure that it is truly designed for recyclability – Circular by Design™.
In a circular economy, consumer product companies are their own material suppliers. When products are Circular by Design™, they are designed to be compatible with the recycling system, reducing contamination, and enhancing the steam of PCR available to manufacture into new products
This short video illustrates APR's commitment to helping companies make products that are Circular by Design™. Please watch and share the video with your networks to help spread the word!