Innovations in recent years have enabled plastics to be much more sustainable than in the past, and using post consumer recycled resin is a major contributor to that effort.
What Is Post Consumer Recycled Resin?
Post consumer recycled resin (PCR resin) is a material made from recycled plastic, such as water and beverage bottles and other packaging. It offers a more sustainable source for making packaging films, containers, sheets, and many of the products that would otherwise be developed with virgin plastic resin. PCR resins meet requirements and regulations for food, pharmaceutical, medical, electronics, and general retail packaging, making them suitable for nearly any packaging need.
Benefits of Using PCR Resin
PCR resin enables manufacturers to make the same high-quality products at competitive prices with less environmental impact. PCR resins can include multiple types of recycled materials, and can meet or exceed your needs in size, color, finish, and performance while meeting all necessary functional and regulatory requirements. Using PCR resin:
- Lowers the amount of plastic being sent to landfills (4,800 16-ounce plastic bottles equal about a cubic yard of landfill space)
- Shrinks your carbon footprint (traditional plastics production produces nearly 900 million tons of carbon dioxide each year)
- Reduces the need to create new plastics from non-renewable petroleum products
- Limits negative effects of plastics on the environment
- Lowers amount of energy needed to produce new plastics (recycling a pound of PET plastic instead of making new can save up to 12,000 BTUs)
- Satisfies environmentally conscious customers
- Promotes your compliance with industry regulations
Challenges With PCR Resin
When plastics are recycled, they need to be properly sorted by type and thoroughly cleaned before being processed into new plastic flakes, pellets, or powder for reuse as PCR resin. Occasionally, despite using materials sourced from reputable recyclers, there are some impurities in the PCR resin, which can show up as specks or discolored spots in the finished products. While acquiring good quality PCR resin can present some difficulties, taking advantage of recyclable plastics is a crucial step in protecting the environment.
PCR Materials From Integrated Packaging Films
At Integrated Packaging Films, we believe in the importance of using sustainable materials and practices while maintaining the highest quality packaging materials and superior customer service. The PCR resins we use for custom extrusion projects include:
- APET (Amorphous Polyethylene Terephthalate): A safe, crystal-clear, lightweight polyester resin. Most of the PET plastic you see is APET except some PET formulations for higher temperature uses. “Amorphous” indicates the alignment of the polymers.
- RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate): This is polyester PET plastic but made of 100% recycled materials and sourced from used, fully cleaned PET packaging.
- PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-Modified): A softer, slightly more flexible variety of PET plastic. It’s a fully recyclable and food-safe plastic that’s excellent for making clear sheets and is well suited to die cutting and printing for signs and displays.
- PP (Polypropylene): Clear, durable, fully recyclable, and chemically resistant, PP is popular for shrink films and blow-molded, rigid packaging.
With our state-of-the-art equipment, we offer the combination of material choice, color, size, and finish to match your specific requirements and provide regulatory and industrial compliance. We can use PCR resin for:
- Packaging films
- Sheets, including print-grade cut sheets
- Custom plastic extrusion: for rigid film, sheets, and custom parts and products
- Packaging materials, including heavy gauge thermoformable primary packaging materials
- Custom plastic coating: including denesting and antistatic coatings
With decades of experience and a commitment to quick turnaround, on-time delivery, and superior customer satisfaction, we look forward to discussing your plastic film and sheet needs. Contact us today to learn more.