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[GreenYes] Barrier PET Bottles - Tetra Pak
Pat Franklin asked the following question:

"Does anyone out there know what will be the implications these
'silicon dioxide coated' PET bottles will have on recycling?  Peter
Anderson?  Anyone?"

To which Jerry Powell replied that

"Ats November meeting, the Assocation of PostConsumer Plastic Recyclers
gave Tetra Pak an award for its efforts to work with APR members regarding
the recyclability of Glaskin-coated bottles.  The testing involved the
processing of coated containers and the production of polyester fiber and
bottles from the recycled material.  In both cases, says APR, the recycled
resin performed virtually identical to virgin resin.  Several APR members I
interviewed suggest that the silicon dioxide coating ends us as a dissolved
solid in the reclamation plant's wash water."

The Plastic Redesign Project, a multi-state coalition of public recycling
officials that I direct, examines these design issues to project their
economic impact on local recycling programs.  We have just completed an
analysis of the first generation of barrier technologies that I will have a
posting about in a few days.

With regard to the more recent Tetra Pak entry into the field, they have
provided us with their test results, and I would concur that, preliminarily,
they look more promising than the first generation technologies. Whether
they reach the best end point for recyclers of having no negative impacts is
something we need to complete our research to determine.

Tom Tomasek is currently examining their data and when we have completed our
process we will be glad to share with you the results.

I would inert a clarification about the APR process that Jerry mentioned
however. APR, an organization of reclaimers and some virgin producers, was
the first institution providing a forum for this kind of data about impacts
on recyclers of new designs to be presented.  In that they play a critical
role. However, due to antitrust and other considerations, they have
determined that they are precluded from reaching conclusions or specifically
quantifying the economic impacts of one design vs. another technology.  That
is where the Plastic Redesign Project takes up.

I am sorry we don't have a quick and dirty answer for you, but our rigorous
process demands that we go through careful analysis before reaching
publishable conclusions.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100
Fax (608) 233-0011

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