The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • PP

    PP

Innovation in plastics and packaging is necessary to maintain a healthy and competitive industry. To support innovators, the APR has developed a variety of laboratory test method documents that can be used to assess the impact of a plastic design feature or component on recycling. APR test methods combine laboratory practices and measurements developed specifically by and for plastic recyclers with standard ASTM tests. The objective of testing is to determine the impact of a design feature on the processability of a package item as well as the ability of post-consumer resin (PCR) derived from such feedstocks to meet quality specifications for end-use applications. To view APR’s test method definitions, click here.

Design FeatureAPR Design®
Preferred
Detrimental to RecyclingRenders Non-RecyclablePossible Testing Results:APR Test MethodsAPR Recognized Commercially Available OptionsAdditional Resources
PreferredDetrimentalNon-Recyclable
BASE POLYMER
Postconsumer Polyolefin Contentcheckdocument
APR Lifecycle Inventory
Blends of PP and other resins with unknown effects in future uses of recovered resinsUntested blendsdocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
FormCG Recognition Letters
COLOR
Unpigmented (Natural)check
Opaque or Translucentcheck
Optical Brightenerscheck
Why?
Black and Dark ColorsSorting performance unknown; or if L-Value < 40 or NIR reflectance < /=10%document
SORT-B-01
document
NIR Sortation
checkcheck
DIMENSIONS (between 8 fluid ounces and 2 gallons)
Items up to and greater than 7.5 liters (2 gallons) in volume (no large size boundary)check
Items more 3-dimensional (round) than 2-dimensional (flat)Approximate CASS > 20Approximate CASS between 11-20SORT-B-0X(under development)
checkcheckcheck
Small size boundary< 5 cm (2 in) in 2 dimensionsAny 2 dimensions < 5 cmdocument
SORT-B-02
document
Size Sortation
checkcheckcheck
CLOSURES & CLOSURE LINERS; SAFETY SEALS
Polypropylene Closurescheck
Closure Systems without Linerscheck
EVA and TPE Linerscheck
Polymers with density > 1.0 that sink in water - specifically PS, silicone, nylon, acetal, thermosetscheck
Shrink Film Safety Sleeves that are designed to be completely removed before the package can be openedcheck
Polyethylene or Polypropylene tamper-evident safety sleevescheck
PETG or PLA tamper-evident safety sleevescheck
Polyethylene closurescheck
Why?
Closure liners and safety seals that are composites of AL and papercheck
Why?
Closures containing floating silicone polymercheck
Why?
PVC Closures and Tamper-evident safety sleevesOnly if completely removed before package can be openedcheck
Why?
Closures or lidding with metal componentscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
document
Metal Sortation
checkcheck
Shrink Film Safety Sleeves, all materialsOnly if completely removed before package can be openedNot completely removeddocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
SPRAY DISPENSERS AND PUMPS
Polymers with density > 1.0 that sink in water, specifically PS, silicone, nylon, acetal, thermosetscheck
Polyethylene dispenserscheck
Why?
Valves made of silicone (density and floatability will vary)checkdocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
Valves or springs made of metalcheckdocument
SORT-B-03
checkcheck
BARRIER LAYERS, COATINGS, ADDITIVES
"Workhorse" additivescheckCG Recognition Letters
Non-PP barrier materialscheckCG Recognition Lettersdocument
Squeeze Tubes
checkcheckcheck
Additive concentration causing blend to sink due to density > 1.0checkdocument
O-S-01
checkcheckcheck
Degradable Additivescheckdocument
O-S-03
message
APR Position Statement
checkcheckcheck
LABELS & INKS
Polypropylene or polyethylene labelscheckdocument
Squeeze Tubes
in-Mold labels of a compatible polymercheck
Full bottle sleeve labels designed for sortingcheckdocument
Squeeze Tubes
Paper Labelscheck
Why?
Label InksUntested inksdocument
HDPE-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
Metal foil, metalized, and metallic printed labelscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
checkcheckcheck
Full bottle sleeve labelsSorting performance and compatiblity unknowndocument
SORT-B-01
PP-CG-01
document
Squeeze Tubes
checkcheckcheck
Full bottle sleeve labelsSorting performance and compatiblity unknowndocument
HDPE-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
LABEL/ADHESIVE COMBINATIONS
Metal Foil Labels that pass Metal Sorting Potential TestWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
Why?
Polystyrene LabelsWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
Why?
PLA LabelsWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
PVC LabelsWith adhesive that releases in wash
Why?
With adhesive that does not release in wash
Label/Adhesive Combinations where adhesive release and substrate float/sink behavior are not knowncheckdocument
O-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
ATTACHMENTS
Plastic Attachments with Density > 1.0 except PVCcheck
Paper Attachmentscheck
Why?
PVC Attachmentscheck
Why?
Polyethylene Attachmentscheck
Why?
RFIDcheck
Why?
Non-PP Attachmentscheckdocument
O-S-01
checkcheckcheck
Metal, Metalized, and Metal Containing Attachmentscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
document
Metal Sortation
checkcheck
Welded attachmentscheckdocument
O-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
Design FeatureAPR Design®
Preferred
Detrimental to RecyclingRenders Non-RecyclablePossible Testing Results:APR Test MethodsAPR Recognized Commercially Available OptionsAdditional Resources
PreferredDetrimentalNon-Recyclable
BASE POLYMER
Postconsumer Polyolefin Contentcheckdocument
APR Lifecycle Inventory
Blends of PP and other resins with unknown effects in future uses of recovered resinsUntested blendsdocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
FormCG Recognition Letters
COLOR
Unpigmented (Natural)check
Opaque or Translucentcheck
Optical Brightenerscheck
Why?
Black and Dark ColorsSorting performance unknown; or if L-Value < 40 or NIR reflectance < /=10%document
SORT-B-01
document
NIR Sortation
checkcheck
DIMENSIONS (between 8 fluid ounces and 2 gallons)
Items up to and greater than 7.5 liters (2 gallons) in volume (no large size boundary)check
Items more 3-dimensional (round) than 2-dimensional (flat)Approximate CASS > 20Approximate CASS between 11-20SORT-B-0X(under development)
checkcheckcheck
Small size boundary< 5 cm (2 in) in 2 dimensionsAny 2 dimensions < 5 cmdocument
SORT-B-02
document
Size Sortation
checkcheckcheck
CLOSURES & CLOSURE LINERS; SAFETY SEALS
Polypropylene Closurescheck
Closure Systems without Linerscheck
EVA and TPE Linerscheck
Polymers with density > 1.0 that sink in water - specifically PS, silicone, nylon, acetal, thermosetscheck
Shrink Film Safety Sleeves that are designed to be completely removed before the package can be openedcheck
Polyethylene or Polypropylene tamper-evident safety sleevescheck
PETG or PLA tamper-evident safety sleevescheck
Polyethylene closurescheck
Why?
Closure liners and safety seals that are composites of AL and papercheck
Why?
Closures containing floating silicone polymercheck
Why?
PVC Closures and Tamper-evident safety sleevesOnly if completely removed before package can be openedcheck
Why?
Closures or lidding with metal componentscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
document
Metal Sortation
checkcheck
Shrink Film Safety Sleeves, all materialsOnly if completely removed before package can be openedNot completely removeddocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
SPRAY DISPENSERS AND PUMPS
Polymers with density > 1.0 that sink in water, specifically PS, silicone, nylon, acetal, thermosetscheck
Polyethylene dispenserscheck
Why?
Valves made of silicone (density and floatability will vary)checkdocument
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
Valves or springs made of metalcheckdocument
SORT-B-03
checkcheck
BARRIER LAYERS, COATINGS, ADDITIVES
"Workhorse" additivescheckCG Recognition Letters
Non-PP barrier materialscheckCG Recognition Lettersdocument
Squeeze Tubes
checkcheckcheck
Additive concentration causing blend to sink due to density > 1.0checkdocument
O-S-01
checkcheckcheck
Degradable Additivescheckdocument
O-S-03
message
APR Position Statement
checkcheckcheck
LABELS & INKS
Polypropylene or polyethylene labelscheckdocument
Squeeze Tubes
in-Mold labels of a compatible polymercheck
Full bottle sleeve labels designed for sortingcheckdocument
Squeeze Tubes
Paper Labelscheck
Why?
Label InksUntested inksdocument
HDPE-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
Metal foil, metalized, and metallic printed labelscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
checkcheckcheck
Full bottle sleeve labelsSorting performance and compatiblity unknowndocument
SORT-B-01
PP-CG-01
document
Squeeze Tubes
checkcheckcheck
Full bottle sleeve labelsSorting performance and compatiblity unknowndocument
HDPE-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
LABEL/ADHESIVE COMBINATIONS
Metal Foil Labels that pass Metal Sorting Potential TestWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
Why?
Polystyrene LabelsWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
Why?
PLA LabelsWith adhesive that releases in washWith adhesive that does not release in wash
PVC LabelsWith adhesive that releases in wash
Why?
With adhesive that does not release in wash
Label/Adhesive Combinations where adhesive release and substrate float/sink behavior are not knowncheckdocument
O-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
ATTACHMENTS
Plastic Attachments with Density > 1.0 except PVCcheck
Paper Attachmentscheck
Why?
PVC Attachmentscheck
Why?
Polyethylene Attachmentscheck
Why?
RFIDcheck
Why?
Non-PP Attachmentscheckdocument
O-S-01
checkcheckcheck
Metal, Metalized, and Metal Containing Attachmentscheckdocument
SORT-B-03
document
Metal Sortation
checkcheck
Welded attachmentscheckdocument
O-S-01
PP-CG-01
checkcheckcheck
“Composite Attribute Summary Score” –CASS
The CASS is an evaluation of the sorting potential of an item based on its dimensions. The guiding principle is that rigid plastic packaging articles that are more three-dimensional (round, cylindrical, square) will sort more efficiently in today’s MRFs than those which are more two-dimensional (flat). The evaluation applies a weighting factor to each dimension length, then assigns the score based on the summation of the adjusted dimensions. Depending on the CASS, an item may be classified as “Preferred”, or it may need to be tested to determine its actual sorting potential. The CASS is intended to be used with the Evaluation of 2D/3D Sorting Potential of Articlestest method which is under development
Optical Brighteners
Optical brighteners are not removed in the recycling process and can create an unacceptable fluorescence for next uses of recycled PP. It is difficult to identify material with this negative effect until extremely late in the recycling process where a great deal of added cost has been imparted into a material of low value due to the additive.
Polyethylene closures
Since polyethylene floats in water like polypropylene it is not separated in the reclaimers float-sink tank.When blended with PP it negatively affects the impact properties and can render the material brittle.Although very small amounts of PE, such as that contributed by labels, are regularly accepted by PP reclaimers, closures and dispensers comprising a larger weight percentage of the package have a greater negative affect.
Liners that are Composites of AL and Paper
These materials will contaminate wash water, will contribute to waste disposal costs, or will stick to the valuable PP and reduce quality and value of the final products.
Closures containing floating silicone polymer
This material passes through the float-sink tank along with the PP and is difficult to remove with other methods, thereby causing contamination in the final product.Sinking silicone does not experience this issue.
PVC Closures and Tamper-evident safety sleeves
PVC is relatively easy to remove in the float-sink tank since it sinks while the PP floats.However, the float-sink tank is imperfect and even a very small amount of PVC with the recycled PP renders large amounts of it unusable as the PVC degrades at lower temperatures than those at which PP is processed.
Polyethylene dispensers
Since polyethylene floats in water like polypropylene it is not separated in the reclaimers float-sink tank.When blended with PP it negatively affects the impact properties and can render the material brittle.Although very small amounts of PE, such as that contributed by labels, are regularly accepted by PP reclaimers, closures and dispensers comprising a larger weight percentage of the package have a greater negative affect.
Paper Labels
The PP reclamation process involves water and agitation.The paper that detaches from the container when subjected to these conditions becomes pulp, which does not sink intact but remains suspended in the liquid, adding load to the filtering and water treatment systems.Paper remaining adhered to the PP travels with the PP to the extruder where the material carbonizes and causes color defects. Even after melt filtering, the burned smell and discoloration remain with the recycled PP thereby negatively affecting its potential reuse.Non-pulping paper labels used with non-releasing adhesives compound the problem since the entire label enters the extruder.
Metal Foil Labels that pass Metal Sorting Potential Test
If small, not detected, or allowed to pass, these labels, when used with an adhesive that does not release in the wash, either cause the attached PP to sink where it is lost in the float-sink tank or pass into the extruder where they can blind melt filters.
Polystyrene Labels
If small, not detected, or allowed to pass, these labels, when used with an adhesive that does not release in the wash, either cause the attached PP to sink where it is lost in the float-sink tank or pass into the extruder where they can blind melt filters.
PVC Labels
When used with an adhesive that releases in the wash, these labels sink in the float-sink tank where they are removed. But because the float-sink tank is imperfect, and even a very small amount of PVC entering the extruder causes severe quality and yield problems, this material is detrimental.
Paper Attachments
The PP reclamation process involves a wash step that removes adhesives and other components.This process renders paper into a pulp which is very difficult to filter from the liquid, adding significant load to the filtering and water treatment systems.Some of the small individual paper fibers will remain with the PP and carbonize when the material is extruded, causing unacceptable quality degradation.
PVC Attachments
Because the float sink tank is imperfect and even a very small amount of PVC entering the extruder causes sever quality and yield problems, this material is detrimental. PVC degrades at PP extrusion temperatures and renders large amounts of the recycled PP unusable.
Polyethylene Attachments
When blended with PP it negatively affects stiffness and impact properties.Although very small amounts of PE, such as that contributed by labels, are regularly accepted by PP reclaimers, some attachments comprise a larger weight percentage of the package and therefore a greater negative affect.
RFID
While RFID’s are small, they may affect PP recycling in the same ways as metal labels or other attachments. The use of RFID’s is discouraged as may limit PP yield, introduce potential contamination, and increase separation and waste disposal costs.

Get In Touch

Linkedin
Twitter
Facebook
Soundcloud
Vimeo
Youtube

APR

1776 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

Contact Us

Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please write a subject for your message.
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your message.
Please complete the reCAPTCHA

Subscribe

Invalid Input