News | March 7, 2023

U.S. Plastics Pact Launches Postconsumer Recycled Content Toolkit To Build Momentum For Recycled Content In Plastic Packaging

Today the U.S. Plastics Pact (U.S. Pact) launched its Postconsumer Recycled Content (PCR) Toolkit, a resource designed to educate the packaging industry on PCR. The use of PCR in plastic packaging is one crucial pathway to creating a circular economy for plastics, and the U.S. Pact published its PCR Toolkit so that all plastic packaging companies have a guide to start incorporating it into their products. The Toolkit was premiered at the Plastics Recycling Conference during an interactive workshop.

The use of postconsumer recycled content (PCR) in plastic packaging helps create a circular plastics system by reducing the need for virgin material and keeping plastic within the economy. That is why PCR is the focus for Target 4 of the U.S. Pact’s targets; U.S. Plastics Pact Activators should achieve an average of 30% recycled content in their plastic packaging by 2025. In addition to moving the plastic industry towards circularity, the environmental impacts of PCR are much lower than virgin plastic– for example the use of PCR in PET, HDPE, and PP creates an average of 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (Association of Plastic Recyclers).

The PCR Toolkit serves as a guide for the plastic packaging industry to understand what PCR is, what the environmental benefits are, and how to procure it. The U.S. Pact decided that a resource that would normally be kept internal to its Activators was too important not to share externally. It also gives organizations a sense of the detailed work that U.S. Pact Activators create and have access to. The Toolkit includes information on current PCR legislation and federal requirements, procurement types, quality considerations, and consumer perceptions, among other topics. PCR procurement is complex, and the U.S. Pact aims to provide clarity with this Toolkit so that more plastic packaging producers can incorporate it into their products.

To explore the toolkit visit:

“The U.S. Plastics Pact’s PCR Toolkit gives the plastic packaging industry a succinct guide to incorporating PCR. Recycled plastics do not trade like other commodities and navigating the dynamics of the market can be a challenge. The Toolkit is meant for all within the U.S. plastic packaging industry to use. Enabling greater use of PCR is necessary for the development of a circular economy.” Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director, U.S. Plastics Pact

“The U.S. Plastics Pact’s new PCR Toolkit couldn’t be more timely – there are a lot of buyers who are tasked with purchasing PCR plastic content for their company for the first time. There are many issues to consider, including price volatility and certification. The Toolkit helps a buyer quickly understand this complex landscape and learn where to go for a deeper dive on any topic.”  Kevin Dooley, Chief Scientist, The Sustainability Consortium

“As converters and brands look to incorporate more postconsumer recycled content into their primary and ancillary packaging, we believe this tool will provide a helpful guide in the process.” Cherish Changala, Vice President, Sustainability & Public Affairs, Revolution Company

“Consistent demand for PCR is essential to the circular economy. It is critical for plastics recycling to be mature, vibrant and sustainable. Simply put, demand creates value and value drives recycling. This Toolkit provides a variety of helpful resources to guide procurement teams, including contract guidance. The APR encourages long-term contracts for PCR to foster a reliable and robust market for recycled plastics.” Kara Pochiro, VP of Communications & Public Affairs, The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

“The recycled plastics industry is highly dynamic and incredibly complicated to navigate in practice. U.S. Pact’s PCR Toolkit is a great starting point to help navigate the basic barriers to sourcing PCR, namely, understanding key steps, terms, standards, data and stakeholders to connect with.” Ian Arthurs, CEO/Founder,

Source: U.S. Plastics Pact