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Alternative Language On HB 233 Encourages Manufacturers to Design Containers With Recycling In Mind  Posted: February 19, 2008
February 19, 2008

Representative Jim Gooch
House of Representatives
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Representative Arnold Simpson
House of Representatives
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

All Members,
House Natural Resources &
Environment Committee
House of Representatives
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Re: House Bill 233 HCS

Dear Representatives Gooch and Simpson:

I’m writing to convey KRC’s endorsement of the proposed House Committee Substitute to House Bill 233.

As you know, KRC has previously expressed our opposition to the provisions of House Bill 233 as it was introduced, just as KRC has opposed past iterations of the bill. KRC was concerned that coding bottles with barrier layers not comprised of PET as a “1” would introduce a difficult-to-remove contaminant that could adversely affect plastics recycling and those industries, including the bottling, carpet, and other industries that utilize postconsumer PET plastics.

After much research and discussion with trade associations representing the plastics recycling industry, KRC crafted an alternative to HB 233 that would require manufacturers to use objective, scientific testing conducted in accordance with testing protocols developed by the recycling industry, to demonstrate that manufactured bottles and containers containing barrier layers or other resins will not adversely affect the recycling stream. The alternative language is reprinted below, and will be presented as a House Committee Substitute:

(3) A rigid plastic bottle or rigid plastic container constructed with a layer of resin, or other plastic component made of material different from that constituting the primary resin may be labeled with the code for the primary resin constituting the bottle or container if the manufacturer of the container or bottle provides documentation satisfactory to the Cabinet that the manufacturer has successfully demonstrated and has received a letter from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) confirming that the bottle meets or exceeds the APR Critical Guidance Document and APR General Guidance Document Bottle-to-Bottle protocol. After receipt and review of satisfactory documentation, the Cabinet shall provide a letter of approval and designation of the resin code that may be used.

The website for the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is located at http://www.plasticsrecycling.org and explains in greater detail the testing protocols utilized to assure compatibility of containers with the existing plastics recycling framework.

This approach would place Kentucky in the forefront among states in encouraging container manufacturers to design with recyclability in mind, lessens the risk of introduction of incompatible packaging into the plastics recycling stream, and provides the Cabinet with clear, objective, and scientifically defensible standards for determining when containers may be coded as a “1” or a “2” and when containers must be coded as a “7.”

KRC supports the substitute, and encourages your consideration of same.


Tom FitzGerald

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