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Plastic clamshells officially "recyclable" as per FTC's definition

Posted by Chandler Slavin Mar 21, 2013 10:17:00 AM

Hello and happy 2nd day of spring!

I am positively delighted to discuss the following bit of news: PET thermoformed containers are now officially recyclable as per the FTC’s definition of recyclable packaging; this means that 60% of American communities have access to facilities that can recycle these packages. Wow.

Click here for the story.

I was at my first Walmart Sustainable Packaging Expo when a packaging engineer at Burts Bees pass Dordan’s booth; I called to him, “custom thermoformed trays for gift sets!” to which he replied, “we are getting out of thermoformed trays because they are not recyclable.” Well guess what buddy?!? Now they are!

I seriously remember thinking to myself, dang, that stinks. How do you compete with that reality?

As some of you know, this blog began as a day by day narration of my attempts to understand why plastic clamshells were not “recycled” in America. We investigated with the inquiry, “if PET bottles are recyclable, why aren't RPET thermoforms?” These efforts resulted in the publication of "Recycling Report: the Truth about Blister/Clamshell Recycling©" and the cover feature of Green Manufacturer Magazine. Click here to download the Report.

It has been such a pleasure to become familiar with a complex obstacle, like how to add a new material to the recycling infrastructure, and then watch the industry proactively isolate and eliminate the obstacles’ complexities! My deepest congratulations go out to NAPCOR, SPI, ACC, APR, the participating MRFs, the Retail Council of Canada’s grocers, the Adhesive and Sealant Council Inc., and their partners and stakeholders for literally solving the end of life problem for plastic thermoformed packaging. Now we can add the Mobius loop to the clamshells, blisters and trays Dordan manufactures with pride! Whata day!

Here is a throw-back video interview of yours truly describing the contents of her presentation on thermoform recycling at Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010!

Sustainable Plastics Packaging  resized 600

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