Day 33: Dec. 11th, 2009

May 17, 2010

The next day I arrived to the office to find the following email that confirmed the results of our RPET samples’ test, which I had verbally received from another WM contact the day before:

Hi Chandler,

After speaking with our plant manager in Grayslake, PET clam shells should be recoverable from the recycling stream via optical and manual sorts.  I can’t say that’s the case at all WM recycling facilities, or non- WM competitive facilities, so take that for what it’s worth :).  The material would end up in our PET bales. 

However, that does not mean that the PET blister packs are the “same” as bottle grade PET bottles… as I understand it, the PET bottles have an IV rating of 0.78 – 0.80, or a “high rigidity,” that bottle makers require.  I do not know what UV rating your blister packs have, so I would recommend you discuss the technical aspects of your products with your engineers and your suppliers to determine the IV rating and other compatibility issues.

The main issue at this point, based on my research and discussions internally here at WM, is that any non-bottle PET that gets into a bale is typically discarded for landfill upon receipt at a PET bottler, even if a collection and processing company like WM can sort the PET blister packs from the recycling stream.  Again, perhaps you can confirm or research this further with your suppliers.

I hope this helps!  Good luck with your project. 

Hmmmmmm…

I then sent our head engineer the following inquiry:

Hey,

Do you have any idea what the “IV” of our supplier’s RPET is?

Thanks!

Chan

After a delectable lunch of an Italian beef with sweet peppers, I returned to find the following:

Spec for supplier’s RPET is IV>= 0.65; I believe it’s typically between 0.70 and 0.75.

Hope this helps.

I then checked the email from WM… “PET bottles have an IV rating of 0.78-0.80, or a ‘high rigidity’…”

Well, that’s not too terribly different than our 0.75 IV…now I am confused.

Tune in tomorrow to learn more about recycling in America!

AND check out this website that my contact from the APR suggested to find buyers of post-consumer plastic scrap: http://www.plasticsmarkets.org/. I just found it so I will let you know what I can find out in regard to who buys bales of thermoforms post-conumser. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEE.

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