ISRI surveys MRFs for Recyclability Protocol & Certification program

The new program is designed to help clear up confusion regarding product recyclability.

November 6, 2020

Following the launch of its new venture to provide clarity into which products are truly recyclable, the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced that its Recyclability Protocol & Certification program for fiber-based packaging is moving to its next stage of development, which includes a confidential survey.

“Moving to the next stage of this protocol development emphasizes the full efforts put forth by ISRI to ensure this critical need is met,” says ISRI President Robin Wiener. “We look forward to receiving the survey results and taking the next steps to ensure this protocol meets the needs of producers as they work to design with recycling in mind and of consumers interested in being more conscious shoppers as it relates to recycling.”

Launched in June, ISRI’s Recyclability Protocol & Certification program is designed to help solve the ongoing confusion in the marketplace over what products are truly recyclable. During this upcoming phase, Atlanta-based Moore & Associates on behalf of ISRI will administer a confidential survey to material recovery facilities (MRFs) nationwide to gain an inventory of packaging that is recycled. The survey will provide details on packaging materials, shape and size as well as regional variances in technology and capacity.

According to a news release from ISRI on its new Recyclability Protocol & Certification program, the results from the confidential survey will help to shape the new certification program. ISRI says the goal is to have more fiber-based packaging that is designed with the intent to be recyclable based on both technical and market demand criteria.

ISRI says it expects to complete the development of its Recyclability Protocol & Certification program early in 2021. Once complete, ISRI says the final protocol will incorporate data on the technical recyclability of packaging based on existing technologies and capacity as well as market demand data for the materials. The protocol and certification will assist packaging manufacturers, packaging designers and brand owners in understanding what is recyclable, especially in the design stage, as fostered by ISRI’s Design for Recycling initiative. The program also will inform consumers that their effort to choose recyclable fiber-based packaging for their products is the sustainable choice. 

ISRI reports that it hopes to expand this certification program to other products made from recyclable commodities after the initial program is developed.

MRFs that are interested in taking part in the survey should contact Susan Cornish or Bill Moore with Moore & Associates.