ISRI has published a Plastics Resin Identification Guide intended “to provide recyclers with a set of tools to help them identify and process some of the commonly recycled plastic resins.” The guide has dedicated sections for PET, high-density polyethylene, polyethylene film, and polypropylene, and it includes basic descriptions and subtypes of each resin, quick methods for identification, end-market data, ISRI plastic scrap specifications, converting processes, examples of problematic and lookalike packaging, and additional resources. The guide also includes safety tips for handling plastic and a manual to help recyclers identify thermoform packaging produced from different resins.

The guide will be a useful source for recycled plastic processors and consumers as well as designers of packaging, ISRI Senior Economist Bret Biggers says. “It draws from many sources, like the specifications circular and market data,” he says. Given the past few years of Chinese trade restrictions on plastics and other public attention on plastic scrap quality, the need for clarity and information related to plastic scrap recyclability and markets has been “heightened,” Biggers says.

Additional Resources

Plastics Resin Identification Guide