The Association of Plastic Recyclers
  • APR Design® Guide
    APR Design® Guide

Recyclable per APR Definition

Determining a plastic package or item’s recyclability goes beyond whether a specific municipal program collects it, or whether it’s made from a particular plastic resin. APR’s Design® Guide helps package designers measure each aspect of a package design against industry accepted criteria to ensure that it is truly recycling compatible.

A plastic package is considered “Recyclable per APR Definition” if it satisfies all of the following criteria. APR’s definition is comprehensive and includes consideration of compatibility with industry standard recycling processes starting with collection and ending with remanufacturing.

A package that falls short in one aspect of the definition may be considered “Recyclable with Detrimental Features” with the understanding that package manufacturers should use the detailed guidance provided by APR to change their design and achieve recycling compatibility.

These criteria must all be met for a package to be considered “Recyclable per APR Definition”.

  • At least 60% of consumers or communities have access to a collection system that accepts the item per the U.S. Federal Trade Commission “Green Guides”.
  • The item must have market value, or be supported by a legislatively mandated program.
  • The item is most likely sorted correctly into a market-ready bale of a particular plastic meeting industry standard specifications, through commonly used material recovery systems, including single-stream and dual stream MRFs, PRF’s, systems that handle deposit system containers, grocery store rigid plastic and film collection systems.
  • The item can be further processed through a typical recycling process cost effectively into a postconsumer plastic feedstock suitable for use in identifiable new products.

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