APR releases grocery pilot results
By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
Over 350 million additional pounds of scrap plastic could be recovered from grocery stores every year according to a recent pilot study by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers.
APR's Rigid Plastic Recycling Committee enlisted two major grocery chains for the pilot program, which together account for 10 percent of the mid- to large-size domestic grocery store market. The operational model developed over the course of the pilot identified a large volume of HDPE and PP trays, pails and other bulky rigid plastics that could be easily separated and sold to recycling firms.
While initially concerned with problems such as material odor or the need for added staff, quick rinsing of material and cursory training resulted in widespread success for the diversion program without the need to hire additional personnel.
APR voted to move forward with the Grocery Store Rigid Plastics Recovery Project at its March membership meeting, explicitly targeting deli, bakery and floral departments that frequently use high-quality plastics packaging. APR says it plans on expanding the availability of training tools for implementing grocery store recovery programs based on the pilot project.