The Value of Utilizing PCR

Assessing the Prices of Utilizing PCR within the Manufacture of Plastic Packaging & Merchandise

Ocean air pollution and depletion of pure sources have been tied to plastic use, with many main manufacturers making commitments to make the most of extra recycled content material. One avenue is using post-consumer resin (PCR) within the manufacturing of latest merchandise. PCR is derived from shopper packaging that’s processed into recycled plastics.

The Canadian authorities has set an aspirational goal of incorporating 50% recycled content material in plastic merchandise, the place relevant, by 2030. The Atmosphere and Local weather Change Canada (ECCC)  sought to grasp the feasibility and the price of incorporating PCR in sure plastic packaging purposes. The ECCC is a division of the Canadian authorities chargeable for coordinating environmental insurance policies and applications, in addition to informing the general public about guaranteeing a clear, secure, and sustainable setting.

The ECCC retained RRS  to conduct analysis and construct a mannequin that quantifies the marginal value of incorporating PCR within the manufacture of 5 plastic objects, together with 4 packaging codecs and rubbish luggage.

THE STUDY

RRS performed interviews with firms that represented completely different plastic packaging codecs and numerous situations during which PCR is utilized in packaging in North America, together with plastic reclaimers, packaging converters, and packaging producers. RRS additionally performed a literature search to complement the data gained by means of the interview course of. The group included all the information gathered right into a mannequin that generated value curves reflecting the marginal value of incorporating PCR within the evaluated packaging purposes.

As a result of the evaluation was designed to replicate the marginal value of utilizing PCR in manufacturing, the mannequin contains solely the prices incurred in the course of the conversion course of – when the PCR is utilized to supply a product or packaging. It doesn’t replicate the prices of reclaiming post-consumer plastics and producing PCR to the specification required by the converter or the price of buying PCR feedstock.

THE FINDINGS

Probably the most vital prices associated to incorporating PCR usually relate to front-end materials dealing with and rejected merchandise (loss charges). Converters additionally generally reported elevated prices associated to testing and high quality management, mixing, screening, and in a single instance, upgrading a legacy extrusion line to a multi-layer line.

The analysis recognized the next issues associated to the price of incorporating PCR in several contexts:

  • Finish-use software
  • Meals grade (or not)
  • Producing from 100% PCR
  • Product weight

The analysis additionally recognized a number of strategies converters use to enhance high quality and cut back manufacturing prices when utilizing PCR:

  • Degree of PCR content material
  • Use of components
  • Avoidance of mixing PCR and virgin supplies
  • Automated storage

The research discovered that whereas there are marginal prices to incorporating PCR within the manufacturing of plastic merchandise and packaging, these prices are restricted and don’t seem like the central consider an organization’s willpower of whether or not or to not make the most of PCR.

Interviews performed in the course of the research indicated that many of the extra value in incorporating PCR is embedded in the price of the PCR to the converter and isn’t incurred within the course of of manufacturing packaging. Since this mission assumed that PCR is obtainable on the similar worth as virgin plastic, that value is just not mirrored on this evaluation.

Moreover, constructing a enough provide of PCR would probably cut back the incremental value of incorporating PCR within the conversion course of.

Please attain out to Bryce Hesterman, RRS Guide, for extra data on this research.

Be aware: This report is just not publicly out there right now.


Written by colin

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