The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • PE Film

    PE Film

PREFERRED

Polyethylene flexible seals, closures, or dispensers

Since polyethylene is the same polymer as the package body, closures made of it will be captured and processed with the PE film. The utilization of such should be limited to less than 10 wt% of the total package. This increases the reclaimers yield and reduces possible waste.

DETRIMENTAL

See “Requires Test Results" section

RENDERS NON-RECYCLABLE

Metal and metal containing closures, dispensers or attachments
Metal parts are extremely problematic in two areas. First, they alarm metal detectors that are employed at the beginning of the recycling process to protect machinery. When this occurs, the entire package containing the offending part is discarded and landfilled. Secondly, if they happen to pass through the process into the extruder, they can damage the extruder or quickly clog a melt filter causing a pressure upset which automatically shuts down the process for safety.

REQUIRES TEST RESULTS

Non-PE flexible or rigid seals, closures, dispensers, and other attachments

These components enter the film recycling process along with the film they are attached to. They enter the extrusion stage of the process with the base material where they are either melted and blended with the PE or remain solid and are filtered from the melted product. PP- based attachments fall in this category and must be tested for recyclability. Testing must show that the material is removed from the PE stream or has no adverse effect on the recycled PE in future uses.

BENCHMARK TEST

DEFINITIVE TEST

Polyethylene Rigid Attachments

It is known that some additional features such as large spouts/closures relative to the overall weight of the
flexible packaging item can cause items to be sorted with a rigid packaging stream. However, it is not possible
to give general advice on this, so it is suggested testing is undertaken if in any doubt.

Rigid injection-molded attachments are typically produced with low-viscosity (high Melt Flow Index) resins that may impact recycling into films. These attachments to film packaging should be minimized. If rigid attachments are used, they should be polyethylene to be compatible with recycling.

BENCHMARK TEST

DEFINITIVE TEST

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