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PCR Post-Consumer Resin FAQ

 

What kinds of bottles does B&C Plastics Ltd. currently make with post-consumer resin (PCR)?
B&C Plastics Ltd. is currently making bottles for specific customers that incorporate post-consumer high density polyethylene (HDPE), which is collected in community recycling programs, cleaned, and pelletized. At the present time we do not have an FDA-approved source for post-consumer HDPE.
Is the PCR that B&C Plastics Ltd. uses FDA-approved?
We have not found any source for a PCR HDPE thus none of the bottles that have PCR at any level are approved for food contact.

How much PCR can your bottles incorporate?
We can make bottles with up to 35% HDPE PCR using dairy bottles that have been regrinded and then repelletized; we can also make packaging with smaller percentages of PCR for customers that request it. Because PCR is never completely free of colorants and contaminants, we strongly recommend that customers use dark colors (amber, dark green, cobalt blue, etc.) or opaque colors instead of light transparent colors. We recommend that our customers conduct their own compatibility tests with PCR bottles prior to packaging their products in bottles with any level of PCR.

Will my products come in contact with the post-consumer material, and will that affect the safety of my product?
B&C Plastics Ltd. produces monolayer plastic packaging, thus the post-consumer regrind will come in contact with any products you put into our containers. We always recommend that customers conduct compatibility tests with their products in the packaging they plan to purchase.
What are the drawbacks of PCR?

What are the environmental benefits of PCR?
Post-consumer plastics such as HDPE PCR have already been processed from a fossil fuel to plastic, so to reuse the resin in a new PCR bottle does not require the further depletion of new fossil fuels. The more PCR content you put in each bottle, the more impact you can make on the environment, and that is one reason B&C Plastics Ltd. continues to test different suppliers of PCR resins to achieve a container containing 100% post-consumer content.

What are the drawbacks of PCR?
Because post-consumer HDPE comes from a wide variety of collection points, and these collection points typically collect a wide variety of HDPE dairy bottles, even the most rigorous processing and pelletizing cannot eliminate all particulates. The most common complaints about PCR are occasional black flecks in the finished bottles. PCR resin is also subject to some normal color variations so customers should be willing to accept a slightly wider variation in the color of their finished package.

How does the cost for post-consumer HDPE compare to virgin HDPE?
In recent months, the cost for bottles made from post-consumer HDPE has been slightly higher than for bottles made from virgin HDPE due to the extensive sorting, cleaning and processing required to recapture the recycled resin. However, as the cost for all petroleum-based raw materials continues to increase, the cost for PCR is expected to remain stable.
Can I get samples of B&C Plastics Ltd.  products made with post-consumer resins?
Yes, samples of bottles with HDPE PCR are available. Currently we have samples made from 33% HDPE PCR in natural (due to PCR content, bottles are hazed with a slight yellow hue).

What is the minimum number of PCR bottles I can buy?
Currently, B&C Plastics Ltd. requires a minimum run of 50,000 units for all packaging containing PCR. Orders may also be subject to a purge charge.

 

 

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