The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • PS/EPS

    PS/EPS

Polystyrene (PS)

Barrier layers, coatings, and other additives may be added to PS bottles and containers to enhance the properties of PS. Unlike closures or labels, these additions cannot be visually determined to be problematic or potentially problematic for recycling. Therefore, testing is particularly important. APR promotes innovation in the development and testing of new barrier technologies that can be demonstrated by testing to be compatible with recycling.

PREFERRED

None specified

DETRIMENTAL

Optical brighteners

Like many other additives, optical brighteners are not removed in the recycling process and can create an unacceptable fluorescence for next uses of the recycled polymer containing the brighteners. 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.

Untested barrier materials or additives for product protection

Barriers and additives that have not been tested under APR test protocols are classified as Detrimental due to a lack of data about their impact on the cost, productivity and quality of the PS recycling process. Companies must test as explained below.

Also see "Requires Test Results" Section

REQUIRES TEST RESULTS

Barrier materials, additives or coatings for product protection

Barriers and additives that have not been tested under APR test protocols are classified as Detrimental due to a lack of data about their impact on the cost, productivity and quality of the PS recycling process. Companies must test as explained below.

Test protocol: TBD

Other barrier materials, additives or coatings

The APR recognizes that other types of additives may be required for the performance of a particular package but are not addressed in this document. Additives such as de-nesting, anti-static, anti-blocking, anti-fogging, anti-slip, UV barrier, stabilizer and heat receptor agents and lubricants should be tested to determine their compatibility with recycling. Of particular concern are additives which cause the polymer to discolor or haze after remelting since recycled material with poor haze or discoloration is greatly devalued and has limited markets. This is particularly troublesome since it is difficult to identify material with this effect until extremely late in the recycling process where a great deal of added cost has been imparted into the material.

Test protocol: TBD

Degradable additives (photo, oxo, or bio)

Recycled PS is intended to be used in new products engineered to meet particular quality and durability standards. Additives designed to degrade the polymer diminish the life of the material in the primary use, and may shorten the useful life of the product made from the rPS as well, possibly compromising quality and durability. These additives must either separate and be removed from the PS in the recycling process or have no adverse effects on the rPS in future uses. When used, their content should be minimized to the greatest extent possible to maximize PS yield, limit potential contamination, and reduce separation costs.

Test protocol: TBD


Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

APR promotes innovation in the development and testing of new barrier technologies that can be demonstrated by testing to be compatible with recycling.

PREFERRED

None specified

DETRIMENTAL

Halogenated fire retardants

These materials are frequently used in EPS boards and molded shapes designed for insulation. Minute amounts can have a significant impact on the melt flow of the reprocessed resin.

Also see "Requires Test Results" Section

REQUIRES TEST RESULTS

Degradable additives (photo, oxo, or bio)

Recycled EPS is intended to be used in new products engineered to meet particular quality and durability standards. Additives designed to degrade the polymer diminish the life of the material in the primary use and may shorten the useful life of the product made from the rEPS as well, possibly compromising quality and durability. These additives must either separate and be removed from the EPS in the recycling process or have no adverse effects on the rEPS in future uses. When used, their content should be minimized to the greatest extent possible to maximize EPS yield, limit potential contamination, and reduce separation costs.

Test protocol: TBD

Other barrier materials, additives or coatings

The APR recognizes that other types of additives may be required for the performance of a particular package but are not addressed in this document. Additives such as de-nesting, anti-static, anti-blocking, anti-fogging, anti-slip, UV barrier, stabilizer and heat receptor agents and lubricants should be tested to determine their compatibility with recycling. Of particular concern are additives which cause the polymer to discolor or haze after remelting since recycled material with poor haze or discoloration is greatly devalued and has limited markets. This is particularly troublesome since it is difficult to identify material with this effect until extremely late in the recycling process where a great deal of added cost has been imparted into the material.

Test protocol: TBD

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