black plastic pellets

APR introduces postconsumer resin certification program

Association announces a process to endorse companies that provide third-party certification of PCR and promote its member companies that receive certification.


The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington, has announced a process to endorse companies that provide third-party certification of postconsumer resin (PCR) and promote APR member companies that receive certification. To support and grow the use of PCR, APR says it understands it is essential that PCR certification be reliable, consistent and accessible by producers and users of recycled plastic resins. Through this endorsement program, APR says it seeks to increase supply of and demand for PCR plastics. 

“The intent of APR’s PCR Certification Program is to actively promote APR member companies that sell certified PCR materials,” says Liz Bedard, APR director of rigid plastics recycling programs. “This program was developed in response to a growing demand from APR members and stakeholders across the plastics value chain.”

As noted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the value of certification is the degree of confidence and trust that is established by an impartial, competent demonstration of fulfillment of specified requirements by the third party.

APR’s PCR Certification Program includes three components:

  1. APR endorses qualified third-party companies to conduct certifications. As of March 26, the association lists AMI Testing & Services Inc., Oceanside, California, and UL Verification Services Inc., Northbrook, Illinois, as endorsed certification companies.  
  2. Plastic reclaimers hire the APR-endorsed companies to certify their PCR.
  3. APR members present their PCR certification to APR for nationwide promotion.

California Senate Bill 270 creates standards that reusable bags distributed or sold in California must meet, including recycled content. The APR says any plastic reclaimer’s PCR that has been certified under California’s SB 270 requirements will be considered certified.

The APR has outlined the primary goals of the program:

  • Provide reclaimers with confidence that the endorsed certification companies adhere to a clear, consistent definition of PCR that aligns with the ISO 14021:2016 definition.
  • “Level the playing field” by endorsing multiple, credible third-party PCR certifying bodies that APR members and others can voluntarily use.
  • Increase manufacturers’ and brand owners’ access to and confidence in a high-quality PCR supply that meets their needs across diverse applications (e.g., olefins, other rigid plastics, flexible films).

“The APR PCR Certification Program promotes the critical link between the reclaimer actually making PCR and the customer wanting to use PCR,” says Greg Janson, president of QRS Recycling, St. Louis, and co-chair of APR’s PCR Certification sub-committee. “The program will undoubtedly enhance the brand equity of PCR in the marketplace, helping to ensure that PCR receives the value it deserves.”