US PET packaging group cautions against degradable additives

28 May 2009 23:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) is urging restraint in the use of degradable additives in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging, the US group said on Thursday.

NAPCOR, a trade organisation for the PET packaging industry, said it was concerned that no data were publicly available to evaluate the impact of degradable additives on the quality of the recycling stream as well as the products themselves.

Additionally, an executive with the group said the process “didn’t make sense”, and was a product of manufacturers “trying to capture the ‘I’m green’ wave”.

“Without the testing and data necessary to understand the potential impacts of degradable additives in PET, it’s not an overstatement to say that they could potentially put the whole PET recycling system at risk,” said NAPCOR executive director Dennis Sabourin.

“We don’t yet understand the impacts that these additives could have on the quality of the PET recycling stream, let alone the impacts on the safety and functionality over time of next-use PET products like recycled-content PET packaging, carpeting or strapping,” he added.

The group said the technology was fairly new and had been introduced by seven manufacturers in recent years.

According to NAPCOR, 1.4bn lbs (635,000 tonnes) of PET post-consumer containers were recycled in the US in 2007. Figures for 2008 are not yet available.

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By: Ben DuBose
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