Post-consumer resins (PCR) are an environmentally friendly packaging option that many manufacturers are using to support recycling programs, consumer demand, and reduce their impact on landfills.
PCR plastics are materials recycled from existing PET bottles and other plastics. These materials are recycled into other packaging materials through community recycling programs. With an estimated 30 billion bottles of water sold each year in the United States, there is an urgent need to increase the use of PCR materials to make new products.
How is PCR used?
In some cases, plastic cannot be recycled into new bottles without first adding new raw materials, because the plastic may not be strong enough to make new containers. But there are newer, more creative ways to create new, clear looking plastic bottles that don’t use original materials.
Some bottle manufacturers are able to incorporate recycling PET and HDPE plastics, available through PCR form recycling programs. Plastic is cleaned and turned into pellets before being reprocessed into food-safe, FDA-approved plastic bottles.
Fragile plastics can also be recycled into other forms of plastic packaging and still protect the environment from harmful plastic waste.
What are the benefits of PCR?
PCR plastics are made from the plastic we already have and are both economical and environmentally friendly. By using something we already have a hard time getting rid of to protect the planet, manufacturers gain an affordable packaging option.
Recycling existing plastic consumes less energy from fossil fuels. Overall, the environment avoids excessive pollution and waste of resources, while manufacturers are still able to produce viable, durable new plastic bottles.
PCR is also an easily accessible material with many opportunities to improve community recycling programs while providing a steady supply of recycled products.