The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • PLA

    PLA

PREFERRED

All non-dark colors

As PLA recovery and recycling is in an early development stage and clear packaging applications are not an initial target for recycled PLA, there is a wider tolerance for pigmented polymer than if a clear packaging application was being pursued for this material. However, lighter colors will have more value and compatibility with a wider variety of end uses.

DETRIMENTAL

See "Requires Test Results" section

REQUIRES TEST RESULTS

Black and dark colors with L-Value less than 40 or NIR reflectance less than or equal to 10%

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

NIR (near-infrared) sorting technology used in MRFs and reclaimers is not capable of identifying many dark polymers since the colorant absorbs light and manual sorting cannot distinguish one dark polymer from another. Other separation techniques such as float-sink cannot be employed since many polymers sink with PLA. Therefore, dark packaging is considered a contaminant for nearly all reclaimers. Some dark shades may be detected by NIR but these must be tested to determine their sortability.

BENCHMARK TEST

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