In an effort to address plastic pollution and its detrimental impact on life, Earth Day this year is dedicated to providing information and inspiration needed to "fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics."
Many ANSI members and standards developers support reversing the plastic pollution impact with a commitment to sustainability through education, standards, and other guidelines. In 2018 for example, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), a member and accredited standards developer, announced the adoption of its first-ever Sustainability Statement that codifies the association's dedication to sustainability. The statement encourages all companies engaged in plastics manufacturing to make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of operation.
"We want to provide our members with a guiding principle for how they should integrate sustainability into their operations," said PLASTICS vice president of sustainability, Kim Holmes. "Further, we want people to understand PLASTICS' ongoing and tireless efforts to help improve sustainability in our industry."
In a collaborative effort to help increase industry awareness about plastic recycling, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), an ANSI member, and the North American Plastics Recycling Alliance (NAPRA) teamed with partners that include ANSI members PLASTICS, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to develop a three-part webinar series. The educational sessions give manufacturers the tools and resources they need to increase use of recycled plastics. Access more information and the webinar video.
Standards also support sustainable plastics recycling. For example, ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International's ASTM D5577-94 (2010) e1, Standard Guideline for techniques to separate and identify contaminants in recycled plastics, provides information on available methods for the separation and classification of contaminants such as moisture, incompatible polymers, metals, adhesives, glass, paper, wood, chemicals, and original-product residues in recycled plastic flakes or pellets.
In addition, the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) ISO 15270:2008, Plastics-Guidelines for the recovery and recycling of plastics and waste, provides guidance for the development of standards and specifications covering plastics waste recovery, including recycling. This standard establishes the different options for the recovery of plastics waste arising from pre-consumer and post-consumer sources. It also establishes the quality requirements that should be considered in all steps of the recovery process, and provides general recommendations for inclusion in material standards, test standards, and product specifications.
ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO. ISO Technical Committee (TC) 61, Subcommittee (SC) 14, Plastics and environment, developed the standard. ASTM International serves as the TAG administrator to ISO TC 61 SC 14.
Read more about Earth Day's focus to End Plastic Pollution.