At this time, there is not FDA approval for post-consumer resins (PCR). In lieu of approval, the FDA issues an FDA Letter of Non-Objection which certifies that the collection, cleaning, and processing of the post-consumer materials meets their standards for food-safe plastics.
Whether you are running PCR in clear, white, translucents, tints or opaque colors, there is always a chance for color variation from lot to lot – particularly with lighter colors. For this reason, we request that every customer buying PCR bottles sign a waiver agreeing to accept reasonable variations in the final color and clarity.
When we run bioresins, we run the resin at 100% (no blends with virgin material).
Alpha can run 100% PCR in all of our single-stage PET items, all of our EBM and IBM HDPE items, and most 2-stage PET items.
Because of the manufacturing processes and blending equipment we have, our standard percentages of PCR are: Single-stage PET: 25% or 100% 2-stage PET: 30% or 100% (testing required before we can commit to 100% for this process) HDPE: 25% or 100%
Because of the complexities of running PCR in any percentage, Alpha charges the same upcharge for PCR content whether you choose to use 25% PCR or 100% PCR.
That depends on your product and any certifications you require. Most products probably do not need to undergo stability testing because the post-consumer versions of PCR and HDPE are very similar to virgin and have similar performance. But if you have FDA filings or other pharma or OTC requirements, we would recommend that you conduct stability testing. Stability testing is the responsiblity of the customer.
The post-consumer resins Alpha uses all come with FDA letters of non-objection and are safe for food contact. To obtain that designation, the resin must be collected, sorted, cleaned, ground, melted, recrystallized and/or repelletized all according to processes approved by the FDA. There are very few companies that are equipped to put post-consumer bottles through this rigorous process, so there is a premium for the high-quality post-consumer resin they produce.
Upcharges for PCR fluctuate widely based on market conditions and the source of the PCR. Because we use only food-safe resins approved by the FDA, recycled PET is typically 10% to 20% more than virgin PET and recycled HDPE can be 20% to 40% higher than virgin HDPE. Certified Ocean Bound PCR has a greater upcharge and must be quoted based on current market conditions.
Bioresins are resins that are made partially or completely from plants. Currently Alpha offers bottles and jars from a PET bioresin with 30% plant-based feedstock, and HDPE bioresin made 100% from sugar cane.