Classification of Recycled Polyethylene Materials

A proposed ASTM International standard will aid in the identification of recycled polyethylene materials. The proposed standard (WK74657) presents a classification system that is capable of indicating total recycled content, material origin, physical properties, quality metrics, and regulatory guidance. 

“This proposed standard will bring together buyers and sellers of recycled materials so that they can specify desired properties when they are known or classify properties as unknown if the material has not been tested,” says ASTM International member Jeffrey Biesenberger, director of materials engineering, Advanced Drainage Systems. 

According to Biesenberger, the proposed standard will be useful to anyone involved with recycled thermoplastics, including: 

  • Mechanical recyclers/producers,
  • Chemical recyclers/producers,
  • Customers purchasing recycled materials,
  • Designers specifying recycled materials,
  • Designers of complex, multi-component products,
  • Materials recovery facilities,
  • General interest groups,
  • Producers of virgin product that will be recycled, and
  • Compatibilizer manufacturers.

WK74657 is one of several proposed standards that the recycled plastics subcommittee (D20.95) is currently developing. The committee welcomes technical experts in the characterization of recycled thermoplastics, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP). This includes technical professionals who determine physical, rheological, analytical, thermal, and other properties. 

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member of ASTM.

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