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A DIVISION OF

THE SOCIETY OF THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY. INC • 1801 K STREET NW. SUITE 600K WASHINGTON. DC 20006 • (202) 974-5200

Technical Bulletin
PBI 28-1993

RECOMMENDED PRACTICE FOR DOCUMENTATION OF RECYCLED HDPE CONTENT IN


BALED BOTTLES AND RECLAIMED RESIN

1.0 SCOPE the reclaimer in certifying the origin of the


1.1 The purpose of this procedure is to provide a standard post-consumer resin to the bottle producer.
means by which post-consumer HDPE bottles, and the
post-consumer resin made there-from, can be 3.0 DEFINITIONS
documented as originating from true post-consumer 3.1 Post-Consumer Materials-Those products generated by
sources. As such, what constitutes post-consumer HDPE a business or consumer that have served their intended
is defined and contrasted to what is defined as end uses, and that have been separated or diverted from
post-industrial materials. This will provide a uniform set solid waste for the purpose of collection, recycling, and
of criteria which may be used by bottle producers when disposition. The term "intended end use" includes the
specifying post-consumer HDPE resins for their internal
distribution, marketing, and use of consumer products.
use.
This definition includes any bottle that has been filled
2.0 SUMMARY OF PRACTICE: with product, including those bottles which have been
2.1 Procedures and documentation are necessary to ensure rejected due to leakage or product spoilage.
that bottle producers are receiving true post-consumer
resins, regardless of where the resin is purchased. Also, 3.2 Recovered Material-Materials and by-products that have
reclaimers require a standard by which bottle purchases been recovered or diverted from solid waste, but not
can be made, assuring that these bottles are including those materials and byproducts generated
"post-consumer" in nature. By employing the definitions from, and commonly reused within an original
listed above, documentation can be provided that testify manufacturing process, as well as those resins that are
as to the nature of the feedstock in question. The reusable after grinding only.
principal delineation made between post-consumer and
post-industrial bottles is whether or not the bottle has 3.3 Recycled Plastics-Those plastics composed of
been filled with product. If it has, it can be considered post-consumer material or recovered material only, or
post-consumer, since at that point it is fulfilling its both, that may or may not have been subjected to
intended end use of delivering product to the consumer. additional processing steps of the types used to make
These bottles can also be considered as post-consumer products such as regrind-recycled, or reprocessed or
sourced because the recycling of these containers will reconstituted plastics.
serve to divert them from the solid waste stream.
4.0 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
Documentation must be supplied by the collector to the
4.1 ASTM D-5033 "The Development of Standards Relating
reclaimer as to the origin of the bottles being delivered.
to the Proper Use of Recycled Plastics"
This will serve as primary documentation to be used by

To the best of our knowledge the information contained herein is accurate. However, The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. assumes no liability whatsoever for the accuracy or completeness of
the information contained herein. Final determination of the suitability of any information of material for the use contemplated, the manner of use and whether there is any infringement of patents
is the sole responsibility of the user.

This test method or practice may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This test method does not purport to address all of the safety measures associated with its use. It is the
responsibility of the user of this method to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of any federal, state, and local regulatory limitations prior to use.

COPYRIGHT  1993 by THE SOCIETY OF THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY, INC.


PBI 28 - Page 2 of 2

5.0 DOCUMENTATION OF RECYCLED HDPE CONTENT 6.0 DOCUMENTATION OF RECYCLED HDPE CONTENT
IN BALED BOTTLES IN RECLAIMED RESIN

5.1 The reclaimer shall require documentation from the 6.1 With supporting records obtained from the baled bottle
bottle collector stating the source of the bottles being supplier, the reclaimer will certify to the bottle producer
supplied. This documentation will state the the total recycled HDPE content of the resin supplied.
municipality(ies) or other sources from which the bottles This can be done in the form of a certification letter or in
are collected. The collection method must also be conjunction with the certificate of analysis supplied with
stated, be it curbside pick-up, drop-off centers, materials every lot. The certification method should be agreed
recovery facilities, some other collection method, or any upon by both reclaimer and bottle producer. If the
combination thereof. If marketed as post-consumer reclaimer has been supplied bottles from 100% post-
bottles, then all bottles must conform to the definition consumer sources (as defined above) and nothing has
supplied in this document. The reclaimer shall have been added to the resin in the form of additives or color
these records on-hand to support subsequent sales of concentrates, then the reclaimer can sell the resin as
resin in either pellet or flake form. Recommended 100% post-consumer resin. If additives, color
retention of these records is three years. concentrates, or any other substances have been added
to the resin during production other than agents used to
As stated earlier, the principal delineation made clean the resin, however, a statement must be made to
between post-consumer and post-industrial bottles is that effect in the letter of certification/certificate of
whether or not the bottle has been filled with product. If analysis. The statement should state the nature of the
it has, it can be considered as post-consumer by virtue material being added to the resin (additive, color, etc.)
of the fact that it is considered to be fulfilling an and the total loading as a percentage of the total. The
intended end use, that of delivering product to the statement need not specify exact ingredients if it is
consumer. These bottles can also be considered post- considered a proprietary formulation. These statements
consumer sourced when the recycling of these are needed when bottle producers make recycled HDPE
containers will serve to divert them from the solid waste content claims about their bottle production.
stream.

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