Life Cycle Inventory Analysis from the Association of Plastic Recyclers

REPORT: Benefits of Recyced Content in PET, HDPE and PP Highlighted

The Association of Plastic Recycler has found significant reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with incorporating recycled plastic resin into the manufacturing of new products.

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The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), an international trade body representing the plastics recycling industry, has found significant reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with incorporating recycled plastic resin into the manufacturing of new products.

The report - a ‘Life Cycle Inventory Analysis’ was conducted by industry research consultants Franklin Associates, a division of ERG – analysed the energy requirements and environmental impacts of postconsumer recycled plastic resin as compared to virgin plastic resin.  

The report examined recycling processes for three of the most common types of plastic material recycled today: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). According to the report, using recycled plastic reduced total energy consumption by:

  • 79% for PET
  • 88% for HDPE
  • 8% for PP

At the same time, using recycled plastic limited emissions by:

  • 67% for PET
  • 71% for HDPE
  • 71% for PP

“This study shows a win-win for companies who incorporate recycled plastic resin into their new products. They can improve the environmental sustainability of their products and processes and reduce their energy costs,” said Steve Alexander, President of APR.

“It demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of the full recycling chain for plastic goods - a chain that starts with companies manufacturing recyclable products, and ends with consumers buying products made from recycled materials,” he added.    

Jamie Camara, CEO of PetStar and chair of The APR Board of Directors commented: “It is critical that North America continues to invest in our recycling infrastructure so that we can expand the material that is collected, sorted, and processed for second use. Recycling and using recycled materials are good for manufacturers, consumers, and the planet.”

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