Reprinted from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers Newsletter
What do you tell your public, caps on or caps off?
In a statement recently released, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) reports that plastic bottles and containers with caps and closures should have the caps replaced prior to recycling. APR Chairman Scott Saunders explains, "We want to assure recycling coordinators, MRF operators and other collectors of recyclables that domestic plastics recyclers will process these bottles and recover the caps for recycling purposes." APR strongly advocates the recycling of all post consumer plastic packaging.
"The APR encourages this practice because we are committed to increasing the available supply and the actual amount of plastics being recycled while at the same time reducing the instances of litter and waste in local communities in North America," explains APR's Executive Director Steve Alexander.
There are domestic markets for recycled plastics, especially those types of plastics found in bottles, containers, and their closures. In fact, APR member companies report ever growing demand for recycled plastic resins such as the polypropylene commonly found in caps and lids. "The marketplace is eager to consume caps as an expanding source of material," says APR Rigid Plastics Director Liz Bedard.
The APR also strongly recommends that packaging manufacturers and brand owners utilize packaging manufactured consistent to the APR Design for Recyclability Guidelines. As APR technical director Dave Cornell points out, "In this case the recommendation is that PET and polypropylene bottles, such as beverage containers, use polypropylene caps. HDPE bottles, such as detergent containers, should use HDPE caps." Proper bottle design allows for the maximum overall value, sustainability and performance of the collection and recycling loop.