The Recycling Committee of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association released a paper titled “Compatibilizers: Creating New Opportunity for Mixed Plastics” providing the entire recycling value stream a primer on compatibilizers, which are additives designed to make disparate, traditionally incompatible varieties of post-consumer recycled plastic materials compatible.

“Relying on the expertise and range of experience in the plastics supply chain, the SPI Recycling Committee has created yet another product that provides the concrete tools and insight every company in the plastics recycling value stream needs in order to move toward a truly circular economy for all plastic materials,” said SPI President and CEO William Carteaux. “Compatibilizers, long used by the prime industry, offer the potential to create new mechanical recycling solutions for post-industrial and post-consumer scrap plastics. This project demonstrates the innovation that can happen in recycling when you engage all segments of the supply chain. This is a real world solution being offered, one which is currently being used today by a number of our members to recover mixed resin streams that would otherwise be landfilled.”

The Recycling Committee’s report found that widespread use and understanding of compatibilizers could present recyclers with the opportunity to convert multi-layer flexible packaging and highly mixed streams, such as the yield loss from increasingly contaminated bales (bales comprised of several different types of plastics rather than one, variety), into valuable recycled resin. “Recent findings suggest HDPE recyclers are suffering a 20-percent yield loss, while their PET recycling counterparts are experiencing upwards of 40-percent yield loss,” the report says. “This rate of material loss can quickly change the economics of an operation from black to red.”

“If that yield loss could be put to use as another valuable feed stream, it can dramatically change the economics of an operation, as well as further divert valuable plastics from the landfill,” the report adds, noting that compatibilizers are one means by which those mixed plastics could provide a greater source of profit for recyclers.

“Compatibilizers: Creating New Opportunity for Mixed Plastics” aims to give recyclers the information they need to begin to explore the potential of compatibilizers and provides a list of the products available for recyclers to start using these additives to enhance their bottom line. A full copy of the paper can be found here. For more information on the SPI Recycling Committee’s efforts visit the Committee’s website here.

 

About SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $373 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly 900 thousand American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at http://www.plasticsindustry.org/ and www.inthehopper.org.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."