HTS CODE: 3915100000

Description: Mix of polyethylene bag and overwrap collected from consumers and businesses and sorted at Material Recovery Facilities (MRF), often collected through curbside collection.  Bags, wraps, and films may be mixed color or printed and are a mix of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE). Films may be coded with ASTM D7611resin identification code “#2, HDPE” and “#4, LDPE/LLDPE.”

Product: PE Film

Source: Residential post-consumer film collected at Material Recovery Facilities.

Contamination: Total contamination should not exceed 35% 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.

  • Non-PE films, metallized, or multi-material pouches (2% maximum)
  • Organic/food waste (1% maximum)
  • Loose paper, cardboard (OCC), including cardboard endcaps
  • Any rigid plastic bottle, container or packaging including PET (#1), HDPE (#2), PVC (#3), LDPE/LLDPE (#4), PP (#5), PS (#6), Other (#7) and compostable plastic (e.g. PLA and PHA)
  • Plastic strapping and rubber bands
  • Labels
  • Aluminum cans

CONTAMINANTS NOT ALLOWED: If present, these contaminants may result in rejection.

  • PE film packaging exposed to hazardous materials, such as flammable, corrosive or reactive products, pesticides or herbicides
  • Silicone coated film
  • Film with oxo or bio-degradable additives, PVDC layers, or acrylic coatings
  • Any bulky rigid plastic
  • Any plastic foam
  • Free-flowing liquids
  • Textiles
  • Metal, Wood, Glass
  • Batteries
  • Electronics scrap, including items with circuit boards or battery packs
  • Bio-Medical waste/items (e.g., syringe, sharps, gloves, masks
  • Rocks, stones, mud, oils, grease

General: Refer to the General Information section for more information.

Terms & Definitions

Effective as of: July 14th, 2022

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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