U.S. Plastics Pact toolkit provides guide to incorporating PCR into plastics products
The U.S. Plastics Pact has launched its post-consumer recycled content (PCR) toolkit, a resource designed to educate the packaging industry on PCR. The use of PCR in plastic packaging is a pathway to creating a circular economy for plastics, and the U.S. Plastics Pact published its PCR toolkit so that all plastic packaging companies have a guide to start incorporating it into their products.
The use of post-consumer recycled content (PCR) in plastic packaging helps create a circular plastics system by reducing the need for virgin material and keeping plastic within the economy. That is why PCR is the focus for Target 4 of the U.S. Plastics Pact's targets; U.S. Plastics Pact activators should achieve an average of 30 percent recycled content in their plastic packaging by 2025. In addition to moving the plastic industry towards circularity, the environmental impacts of PCR are much lower than virgin plastic. For example, the use of PCR in PET, HDPE, and PP creates an average of 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions (Association of Plastic Recyclers).
The PCR toolkit serves as a guide for the plastic packaging industry to understand what PCR is, what the environmental benefits are, and how to procure it. The U.S. Plastics Pact decided that a resource that would normally be kept internal to its Activators was too important not to share externally. It also gives organizations a sense of the detailed work that U.S. Pact Activators create and have access to. The toolkit includes information on current PCR legislation and federal requirements, procurement types, quality considerations, and consumer perceptions, among other topics. PCR procurement is complex, and the U.S. Plastics Pact aims hopes the toolkit enables plastic packaging producers to incorporate PCR into their products.
"The U.S. Plastics Pact's PCR Toolkit gives the plastic packaging industry a succinct guide to incorporating PCR. Recycled plastics do not trade like other commodities and navigating the dynamics of the market can be a challenge. The Toolkit is meant for all within the U.S. plastic packaging industry to use. Enabling greater use of PCR is necessary for the development of a circular economy," says Emily Tipaldo, executive director of the U.S. Plastics Pact