Have you been wondering what PCR plastics are and how you can use them for your packaging? PCR plastics refer to any type of plastic material that is made from post-consumer resins. They are environmentally friendly and a more sustainable option that many manufacturers are beginning to use in support of their recycling programs and to help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Recycled materials are made from current PET bottles and other types of plastics. This is where post-consumer resins come from, as they have been structured into something before, melted down into new materials, and reused for another purpose. 

The result of recycled plastics is PCR plastics. Going through the process of recycling plastic is incredibly important as more and more plastic waste is found polluting the environment. Reusing plastics is a great way to reduce the amount of waste discarded and get raw materials for manufacturing.

Benefits of PCR Plastics

There’s an excess of plastic that needs to be dealt with, and there are tons of manufacturers who need affordable raw materials. Reusing plastics that are already made is a cost-effective and waste-reducing process. Not to mention, processing the used plastic material requires less water consumption, fossil fuels, and energy.  Reusing plastics to make PCR plastics is environmentally friendly on many levels, and it will help you save on material and production costs when manufacturing new plastic goods.

How PCR Plastics are Used

PCR plastics can be used to make similar materials, such as PET bottles for beverages. While some repurposed plastics can become too brittle and weak for use, they can be mixed with virgin materials to strengthen them. This doesn’t eliminate the need for new materials but helps reduce the amount of new plastic needed. In some cases, however, you are able to turn used plastics into pellets, which can then be used to make durable, FDA-approved materials again. Should your recycled plastics become too weak to use for stronger types of packaging, you can recycle it into other forms of packaging for use, such as plastic bags or coverings.

Looking Toward the Future

In 2016, total plastic bottle recycling collection rate was 29.7% according to the National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report. This means there is well over 70 percent of the plastic bottles being sold available for recycling. And that’s just plastic bottles, not including plastic bags and other types of plastics that are thrown out every year. Manufacturers are missing out on valuable materials that can be repurposed not only to save on costs, but also to help the burden placed on our environment with excessive plastic waste.

We hope you have a better understanding of PCR plastics and how they can be used for manufacturing new packaging materials. PCR plastics provide resources for making new plastic goods and also help eliminate some of the burden of excess waste. They are an important part of the packaging industry that is slowly picking up more steam as the need for sustainable solutions continues to grow.