ASTM D7611 changes, PEF bioplastic, 50% rPET bottles, Source Reduction, Volume 7, Issue 3

ASTM D7611 changes, PEF bioplastic, 50% rPET bottles, Source Reduction

Volume 7, Issue 3

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Resin identity and its recyclability

Changes to resin code standard emphasize identification

To avoid confusion between resin identity and its recyclability, a solid equilateral triangle is slated to replace the chasing arrows element in the resin identification code (RIC) seen on plastic containers since 1988.


The change to D7611, Standard Practice for Coding Plastic Manufactured Articles for Resin Identification, has been approved by Subcommittee D20.95 on Recycled Plastics, part of Committee D20 on Plastics of ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA. Like its predecessor, ASTM D7611-13 provides codes for the six most commonly found resin types: 1-PETE (polyethylene terephthalate); 2-HDPE (high-density polyethylene); 3-V (polyvinyl chloride); 4-LDPE (low-density polyethylene); 5-PP (polypropylene); 6-PS (polystyrene); and 7-Other (for all other resins and multi-material structures).

“Bridget Anderson, a member of the ASTM D20.95.01 task group who also serves as director, Recycling Unit, Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling, NYC Department of Sanitation, New York, NY, explains: “Changing the marking symbol in D7611 decouples the RIC system from the recycling message, which has been a significant source of confusion by the public. This is an important first step to help ensure the long-term integrity and viability of the RIC system. Building on this effort, committee members can marshal their collective expertise to continue to create a more robust coding system that is relevant and useful to multiple stakeholders in the recycling system today and into the future.”

It may take some time before containers actually carry the revised code because some state laws specify the chasing arrows version.

Meanwhile the task group continues working to update the standard. In fact, it welcomes participation from new members. Current areas of focus include assessing how to differentiate between different melt flows within each resin; identification of additives that might significantly change the properties of a resin; and better labeling of resins currently grouped in the Other category such as polylactic acid, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and nylon.

The task group also is discussing whether a separate code is needed for linear-low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) to enable products made from this technology to be accurately identified and distinguished from products marked as HDPE or LDPE.

ASTM D7611-13 and its related adjunct are available for purchase online at or by contacting ASTM Customer Relations (+1 877-909-ASTM;

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Tape adheres well to corrugated with recycled content

Box-sealing tapes from 3M, St. Paul, MN, and Shurtape, Hickory, NC, bond tightly to corrugated with recycled content where shorter, flatter recycled fibers generate higher levels of dust and pose sealing challenges. A hot-melt synthetic rubber adhesive increases the stickiness of the sealing surface of 3M’s 3072 Scotch® Recycled Corrugate Tape and is acceptable for indirect food contact. A sturdy backing ensures a secure, durable closure, consistent performance and easy unwind. The tape is compatible with hand- or automatic dispensing.


An optimized adhesive formula also is key in the construction of Shurtape’s 2.0-mil HP 235 Packaging Tape (see photo). Better adhesion and shear properties not only improve sealability, but also increase fiber tear upon removal to impart tamper evidence.

For more information, visit

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CPG companies promote conversion of packaging waste into useful products


Maple Leaf Foods, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Garnier, a subsidiary of L’Oreal, USA, New York, NY, collaborate with Toronto-based TerraCycle Canada and TerraCycle headquarters, Trenton, NJ, respectively, to recycle packaging waste.

The upcycler collects packaging from consumers who buy Maple Leaf’s Schneiders® Lunchmate® kits or Garnier beauty-care products. “By partnering with TerraCycle, we’re able to turn used Lunchmate kits into great new products and divert waste from landfills,” explains Kate Beresford, director, marketing, Maple Leaf Foods. “To support everyone who joins our mission, the Schneiders® Lunchmate® Brigade will donate two cents to a school or nonprofit organization of the participant’s choice for each package that’s returned.”

Schneiders® Lunchmate® Brigade participants simply sign up at to join and then fill any box with used Lunchmate kit packaging. When the box is full, the participant logs into his/her account, prints a prepaid UPS shipping label and sends the box to TerraCycle at no cost. TerraCycle records the amount collected and sends earned donations to the specified recipients twice a year. The packaging waste is repurposed into new materials and products, which TerraCycle sells online.


Garnier's Personal Care and Beauty Brigade Program works in a similar fashion. However, Garnier goes one step further and has partnered with GrowNYC, New York, NY, to use objects made from the recycled haircare, skincare and cosmetic packaging in the Garnier Green Garden, a community garden in East Harlem, which is undergoing restoration after being damaged in October 2012 by Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re thrilled to have created a program that has the capacity to impact the quality of life for an entire community,” says David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New York-Garnier-Essie. “Our commitment to sustainability isn’t just about keeping packaging waste from personal-care and cosmetics products out of landfills, but it’s also about reusing that waste and providing a foundation for greener living.”

“We are delighted that Garnier is furthering its commitment to beautifying the planet and local communities with the Garnier Green Garden,” says Tom Szaky, chief executive officer of TerraCycle. “Not only does Garnier support schools and community organizations on an on-going basis through the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade, the garden will be a permanent testament to the impact recycling can have on a community and in our world.”

TerraCycle has diverted more than 2.5 billion pieces of food and beverage packaging and other waste from landfills, and with its partners, dispersed more than $5 million to charity. For more information, visit


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Premium water debuts in 50% rPET bottle


Nestle Waters North America, Stamford, CT, launches resource® Natural Spring Water in 700-milliliter and 1-liter polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles with 50% recycled content. The domestically sourced premium still water contains naturally occurring electrolytes for taste. The bottle, which is recyclable in the PET recycling stream, is one of several sustainable containers Nestle Waters North America uses for its products.

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Online resources help recycle cartons for aseptic products and chilled beverages

Companion websites, and, seek to increase the recycling rate of cartons for aseptic products and chilled foods and beverages. Established by the Carton Council of North America, Vernon Hills, IL, Recycle helps consumers find local carton recycling information while gives recycling professionals, elected officials and members of the packaging supply chain information and guidance about including cartons in recycling programs.

Adding cartons can strengthen recycling programs, make participation more convenient for residents, divert more waste from landfills and reduce tipping fees, and help reach diversion and Zero Waste goals faster.

“When a recycling facility adds cartons and a community can start recycling their cartons, new opportunities arise,” says Jason Pelz, vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America, Vernon Hills, IL, and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. “In addition to satisfying the needs of residents and opening up new revenue streams, when a new material is added to a program, all commodities stand to benefit by increased volume. It’s a winning proposition for everyone,” he concludes.

The site presents:

  • Carton recycling information, including best practices, case studies and answers to frequently asked questions 
  • Information on how to add cartons to a community, facility or school recycling program 
  • “Insider Access” Resource Library of tools for promoting carton recycling, including brochures and flyers, presentations and speeches, creative files and photos 
  • News and updates about carton recycling.

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PEF bioplastic could compete with petroleum-based PET


Two major beverage firms and a container maker join forces with Avantium Technologies B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to commercialize polyethylene furanoate (PEF) containers by 2016. Avantium’s YXY catalytic technology converts plant-based materials into chemical building blocks for PEF, a bio-polyester.

Participants in the development effort include ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, Hard, Austria; The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, GA; and Danone, Paris, France. Target markets include beer and alcoholic beverages, food, personal- and home-care products.

With a higher barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor, PEF offers the potential for extended shelf life compared to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). In addition, an independent life-cycle analysis by the Copernicus Institute at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands shows the carbon footprint of PEF is 50% to 70% lower than today’s PET. Avantium currently supplies developmental quantities of PEF from its Geleen pilot plant. A 50,000-ton-per-year commercial-scale operation is expected to be functional in 2016.

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Concentrates, single-serving designs downsize packaging



Consumer packaged goods companies constantly strive to reduce packaging. The benefits are two-fold, increased sustainability and lower costs. Favorite ways to achieve source reduction include concentrating the product and lightweighting the packaging.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, NJ, takes the concentrated formula route with its Arm & Hammer Ultra Power 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent. With less water, than Arm & Hammer 2X detergents, containers for the ultra-concentrated liquid can be downsized. Two bottle sizes, 45- and 90-ounce, hold enough Refreshing Falls or Perfume & Dye Free detergent to wash 60 or 120 loads, respectively.

Orangina-Schweppes France, Levallois-Perret, France, expands its Oasis juice drink line with a single-serving P’tit Oasis beverage in a 200-milliliter Ecolean Air Aseptic pouch from Ecolean, Helsingborg, Sweden.


Targeted to younger consumers, the shelf-stable drink is sold in eight-count multipacks in retail stores in France and Belgium. Filling of pre-sterilized pouches occurs on EL4 equipment from Ecolean. Food-contact-acceptable packaging material, based on Ecolean Calymer™ technology, incorporates both light and oxygen barriers. The eight-layer structure consists of 40% (by weight) calcium carbonate plus polyethylene and polypropylene binding agents. Tare weight of the pouch is about 6 grams.

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