Mixed Small Rigid Plastic

ITEM CODE: Mixed Small Rigid Plastic

HTS CODE: 3915900090

Small rigid plastic items that are a mix of resins and generated in a positive sort from a curbside, drop-off, or other public or private recycling programs. Primary PP, PET and HDPE with some other resins. Items include bottles, non-bottle containers, other packaging and non-containers/packaging or products. PET and HDPE bottles are present to varying levels and are typically presorted out with some remaining. Items containing metal or electronics should be removed when possible.

Product: Small Bottle, Containers, Packaging and Products

Source: Post-consumer Material collected primarily from residential sources, may also include some material that has met its intended use from commercial establishments.

CHECK WITH YOUR BUYER(S) as to their allowances for:

  • Bulky rigid plastic items greater than 3 gallons equivalent size, (e.g., buckets, crates, waste bins, laundry baskets, large toys, large storage bins and lawn furniture). These items are accepted in the Mixed Rigid Bulky Bale

Contamination: Total contamination should not exceed 15% by weight.

ALLOWABLE CONTAMINANTS AT LOW LEVELS: These contaminants are tolerable at low levels. The following contaminants should not exceed 5% by weight of any of the following “individual” contaminants, unless noted otherwise.

  • PS up to (10%)
  • Rigid plastic of any other resin, not mentioned elsewhere in the specification
  • Aluminum cans
  • Liquid or other residues
  • Loose paper or cardboard (OCC)

CONTAMINANTS NOT ALLOWED: If present, these contaminants may result in rejection. The following contaminants are not allowed at any level (zero percent allowed)

  • Any PVC (#3) in any form
  • Products with degradable additives
  • Containers which held hazardous materials, such as flammable, corrosive or reactive products, pesticides or herbicide
  • Any plastic bags or film
  • Any plastic foam
  • Other metal, wood, glass
  • Batteries
  • Electronics scrap, including items with circuit boards or battery packs
  • Bio-Medical waste/items (e.g., syringes, sharps, gloves, masks)
  • Rocks, stones, mud, oils, grease
Terms & Definitions

Effective as of: October 18, 2023

Terms & Conditions

Product These guidelines are designed with the potential for dealing with all recycled plastic in bale form. Initial specifications refer only to bottles. The code framework allows for generation of guidelines for all types of plastic packaging materials (including rigids and flexibles) with room for expansion to other plastic products and resins including those which are used to produce durable goods. Guidelines for those products may be added at a later date. Bale Density Bales shall be compressed to a minimum density of 10 pounds per cubic foot and a maximum density to be determined by individual contract between Buyer and Seller. Increased density may improve transportation efficiency, but over-compression may adversely affect the ability of a Buyer to separate, sort, and reprocess the material. Bale Tying Material Bale wires, ties, or straps shall be made of non-rusting or corroding material. Bale Integrity Bale integrity must be maintained through loading, shipping, handling, and storage. Distorted or broken bales are difficult to handle. They are unacceptable and may result in downgrading, rejection, or charge back. Allowable Contamination Unspecified materials must not exceed 2% of total bale weight. Bales which contain over 2% will be subjected to reduction in the contracted price of the material as well as charges for disposal of the contaminants. The reduced percentage will vary depending upon the amount and type of contamination. Quality of the baled plastic is the primary factor which determines the value. Prohibited Material Certain materials are understood to be specified as “prohibited.” Such materials will render the bale “non-specification” and may cause some customers to reject the entire shipment. These may include plastic materials which have a deleterious effect on each other when reprocessed, and materials such as agricultural chemicals, hazardous materials, flammable liquids and/or their containers, and medical waste. Liquids Plastic containers/materials should be empty and dry when baled. The bale should be free of any free-flowing liquid of any type. General Shipments should be essentially free of dirt, mud, stones, grease, glass, and paper. The plastic must not have been damaged by ultraviolet exposure. Every effort should be made to store the material above ground and under cover. A good faith effort on the part of the supplier will be made to include only rinsed bottles which have closures removed.


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