8 FAQS About Post Consumer Recycled Resin (PCR Resin)

By Michael Kralstein | Post Consumer Recycled Resin

Nov 28

Post consumer recycled (PCR) resin is the recycled product of waste created by consumers. Before the plastic waste is turned into resin, the plastic materials are gathered and sent through a proprietary process to produce plastic resin pellets.

Businesses that use PCR resins in their products enjoy countless benefits, including increased profits, cost savings, and improved brand image. Even so, there's still a significant amount of confusion surrounding PCR resins.

The following information addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about PCR resins, LDPE resins, and polyethylene PCR resins. Continue reading to learn more.

Do PCR Resins Have Positive Environmental Benefits?

Virgin post-consumer resins such as LDPE resin and polyethylene were originally processed from fossil fuels and turned into plastics. When these PCR resins are reused and transformed into new products, new fossil fuels are not required, which has exponential environmental implications.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, recycled plastics account for far less environmental impact than their virgin counterparts. As a matter of fact, many studies suggest  recycled plastics contain over 25% less green house/carbon gas emissions than virgin resins.

The more PCR resins you include in your products, the higher impact you can make on saving the environment. If you're looking to see what reduction in greenhouse gasses your company can boast about, make sure to ask an expert at AAA Polymer about using PCR LDPE and PCR polyethylene resins.  

How Does the Price of PCR Resin Compare to Virgin Resin?

In the past, the cost of post consumer resin has been a bit higher than new virgin resins. This can be attributed to the extensive cleaning, sorting, and processing required to recapture the recycled resins.

As the overall cost of petroleum-based raw materials continually increases — however — the cost of PCR resins are projected to stay the same. In addition, when more consumers recycle plastics, the law of supply and demand will keep PCR resins extremely attractive in comparison to virgin resins.

What Are the Drawbacks to PCR Resin?

The most common complaints around PCR resins are occasional black flecks, grey/yellow tinting, and gels in the material. Even so, when used in the correct application such as ag films or trash bags, these minor defects do not affect the overall function of the product and are strictly cosmetic. While PCR resins may be subject to slight variations in color, this can be overcome by choosing a reliable provider.  


In either case, an occasional cosmetic color variation is a small price to pay for the environmental impact of using these more eco-friendly products. When marketed properly, your customers may be willing to pay more for those imperfections — knowing your organization is making steps toward environmental sustainability.

Will Consumers Actually Pay More for PCR Resin Products?

As a matter of fact, they will. According to a Nielsen global online study, a surprising 51% of Baby Boomers between the ages of 50 and 64 and 72% of those aged between 15 and 20 — Generation Z— will pay more for products and services from companies committed to making a positive environmental impact. Simply put, your environmental investment can and will pay off as long as you properly market your efforts.

How Can a Company Be Sure They're Using 100% PCR Resins?

One of the surest ways for a manufacturer to know they're using 100% post consumer resins is by looking for the International Code Council (ICC) certification. This member-focused association has over 64,000 members who are dedicated to creating model codes for sustainable solutions. Recently, Trex Cardinal® and Trex Spartan® lines of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) pellets were certified by the ICC for being 100% post-consumer content material.

What Products Are Ideal for Trex LLDPE PCR Pellets?

Trex LLDPE pellets are the ideal material for manufacturers looking to increase the cost efficiency of their products and increase the recycled content. These pellets are excellent for profile extrusion, molding, blown film applications, and in the production of plastic goods.

Other applications of Trex pellets include molded plastic recycling bins, trash bags, grocery carry out bags and speciality applications such as irrigation tubing. Trex LLDPE pellets allow manufacturers to promote a much more eco-friendly option to consumers and lower their overall materials cost.   

Why Would a Business Choose Trex LLDPE Pellets?

In many instances, manufacturers rely on several different sources for plastic pellets. This typically results in widely varying product characteristics, such as the previously mentioned black specks and yellowing, and unpredictable quantities.  

As an AAA Polymer partner, Trex is one of the nation's largest plastic recyclers. They're able to deliver consistent quality and the quantities manufacturers need at a significantly lower price. Best of all, you'll have the convenience of working with a single-source provider.

Does California Require Retailers Use PCR Resin?

In August of 2014, California became the first state in the U.S. to pass legislation imposing a state ban on single-use plastic bags at retail stores. This legislation - Proposition 67 - was approved by a resounding 53% of California voters.

These reusable plastic bags are required to have a minimum of 20% PCR material, which is set to increase to 40% by January 1, 2020. The bags must be able to carry a minimum of 22 pounds for at least 125 uses for a distance of 175 feet. The bags must be at least 2.25 mils in thickness.

Contact AAA Polymer for Trex PCR Pellets

Whether you're looking to save money on manufacturing materials or looking to implement a closed loop recycling program, AAA Polymer can help. Since 1974, we've been providing cutting-edge recycling programs and solutions to business owners throughout the United States. Best of all, you can find Trex LLDPE pellets and reliable PCR resins from many other leading recyclers in the nation.

Contact AAA Polymer today.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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