On Dec. 14, 2023, ISRI released its finalized update to the ISRI Specifications to include updated recycled plastics specifications. Following the final step in the ISRI specification process, the specifications mentioned below are now the current specifications. The updated plastic specifications are part of a collaborative process between the members of Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and ISRI. The specifications were approved separately during October 2023 by both the ISRI Board of Directors and the APR Board of Directors. These specification updates are intended to more accurately reflect the recycled Polypropylene (PP) and Mixed Rigid plastics currently being traded in the marketplace.
See the revised specifications here for:

Specification: PP Small Rigid Plastic
Specification: Mixed Small Rigid Plastic
Specification: Mixed Bulky Rigid Plastic

As a result of technological innovations — including optical sorters, robotics and the application of artificial intelligence — the industry can now sort and process plastics for recycling more effectively than ever before. However, the continually evolving packaging and recycling streams mean that updated bale specifications and recycling-compatible package design remain critical to maintain and improve recycled material quality.

These specifications facilitate communication between materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and reclaimers by describing what materials are commonly accepted. They also clearly convey the contaminants that are tolerable at low levels and those that are prohibited because they are difficult or dangerous for reclaimers to manage.

For more than 100 years, the ISRI specifications, strengthened by the collaboration with APR for plastic commodities, have helped promote consistency and quality in the trade of recycled materials in the U.S. and around the world. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration this invaluable resource is accessible online to anyone at any time.