The use of recycled plastic in new products is an environmentally responsible activity that also strengthens the economy by creating jobs and investment opportunities. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced that its new position on minimum recycled plastic content encourages efforts that will help spur demand for recycled plastics. It also aims to increase the commitment by stakeholders throughout the supply chain to ensure plastics are responsibly manufactured, collected, and recycled into new products.
Plastics are a diverse, versatile group of materials that are used in nearly all aspects of daily life, from life-saving medical supplies to light-weight food packaging. However, despite the benefits plastics offer, many remained concerned about high levels of plastic waste entering the natural environment. To avoid further environmental harm, it is imperative that all plastics be handled responsibly at end of life.
- Legislation that expands the use of recycled plastic in applications that are appropriate, noting these levels will vary by application and type of plastic;
- Efforts by manufacturers and brand owners to increase the use of recycled plastic resin beyond legislated levels and applications, when possible;
- Manufacturers incorporating the principles of Design for Recycling (DfR) to ensure their products are more easily recycled;
- Stakeholder efforts that seek to increase plastic recycling through public education, outreach and advocacy to meet growing demand for recycled plastic; and
- Efforts that look at the life cycle assessment of a plastic product to help manufacturers make informed choices on the inclusion of recycled plastic resin
The policy aligns with ISRI’s Design for Recycling principles, which encourage manufacturers to consider the ultimate destiny of their products during the design-stage of development, which, in turn, supports the use of more recycled content in new products, said ISRI.