Large Cardboard Boxes | Waste Management – Recycled Packaging, Clamshell and Blister Packaging and Large Cardboard Boxes

Waste Management – Recycled Packaging, Clamshell and Blister Packaging and Large Cardboard Boxes

This posting will begin with some term definitions and acronym disambiguation so that a broader audience can be brought in on this conversation and opinions expressed. The topic of waste management will be presented in a few posts. Most of the information here would be applicable to US cardboard recycling practices and some relevant legal norms and always kept aligned with large cardboard boxes.

EPI – Environment Packaging International, an organization specialized in product stewardship, packaging, batteries and electronics regulations compliance. Performs research and recommendations on per-country basis on how to address challenges relating to products and packaging responsibility. The latter should ultimately be transferred back the manufacturers and communicated to them from governments via legislation, mandatory practices compliance etc. in order to offset the cost of waste management.

Resin – plant sap, particularly from the pine family. Natural resin tends to be unstable due to its properties. Synthetic resin is produced by polymerization which then results in the production of polymers since they are more homogeneous and their properties are more predicable and industrially viable.

FTC – Federal Trade Commission. Founded in the early 1900s, it is mainly tasked with consumer protections and prevention of corporate monopolistic activities or market practices.

PET – polyethylene terephthalate is a thermoplastic polymer resin used in many food-service containers.

PETG – PET which has lower melting temperature. Only made by Eastman Chemicals and SK Chemicals.

CPET – crystalline polyethylene terephthalate

Thermoforming is industrial heat processing of plastics into desired shape, size and up to specifications. The word thermoform is often used to refer to packaging manufactured in the above fashion aka clamshell packaging or a blister. There is an ongoing discussion for or against thermoforms with various viewpoints expressed by manufacturers, retailers and packaging suppliers.

Recycled package – packages have to be gathered, reprocessed and re-manufactured in order to be labeled as recycled.

Reduced packaging/package – there must be traceable proof of the product redesign and material leftovers

Reusable packaging – a provable system has to be in place to warrant the procedure of collecting and further/repetitive product use tracked down.

MRF – materials recycling facility or materials recovery facility, depending on their technology, they can be clean (for already separated recyclables) or dirty (recycled material is manually extracted from the commingled stream.

HDPE – high density polyethylene. It is a thermoplastic (turns into liquid when heated) made from petroleum and it is widely recycled. Number 2 as a recycling number.

SPI – Society of Plastics Industry. Often used in a combination with a number such as SPI 1 for example for PET (polyethylene terephthalate). SPI will be further delved in another post together with ISO 1043 material identification.

PC – polycarbonate. It is a type of thermoforming material with SPI code 7. It can be often seen under the trademark Lexan. Wide application in industry mainly due to its qualities – temperature, shock resistance together with optical qualities. It can handle thermoforming processing and bending without breaking or cracking at room temperature which make it even more versatile.

NAPCOR – National Association for PET Container Resources. It is an organization tasked with proliferation and sustainable development of polyethylene terephthalate by addressing all aspect of its lifecycle from development to plastic recycling.

APR – Association of Post Consumer Plastic Recyclers

The post on plastic recycling will follow next. Stay tuned on the large cardboard boxes central.

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