New Alliance to Create Recycling Directory and Promote Recyclability of Plastic Packaging

New Alliance to Create Recycling Directory and Promote Recyclability of Plastic Packaging
Digital Exclusive

The Plastics Association (PLASTICS) recently created the Flexible Film Recycling Alliance (FFRA), intended to educate the public on sustainability and the recyclability of flexible packaging products in the U.S.

“FFRA is a call to action for the plastic film and flexible supply chain,” says Patrick Krieger, vice president of sustainability at PLASTICS. “This is a collaborative industry effort designed to improve recycling rates and increase the diversity of end markets.”

The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) and the American Recyclable Plastics Bag Alliance have joined FFRA, which also is working with GreenBlue to develop a standard process for verifying retail drop-off data for a directory being created, Krieger says. GreenBlue operates several programs, including the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and How2Recycle®, so its participation contributes key experience to ensuring a system that is feasible and robust, he adds.

Key Initiatives

FFRA also is working with several regional groups, including the Council of the Great Lakes Region, to support specific initiatives.

“Because these efforts require system-level changes, we want more industry participants at the table,” Krieger also says, adding that his group is encouraging anyone in the film and flexible space to get involved.

The key initiatives will include:

  • Operating a plastic film recycling directory for use by consumers and industry,
  • Promoting responsible uses of recycling methods for flexible plastic film products,
  • Amplifying programming for consumers and policymakers on the sustainability of flexible plastic films; and
  • Providing consumer education with information on the best ways to recycle plastic film products.

The organization wants to ensure that collected material is correctly processed and ultimately recycled into new products.

“That’s the point of this whole thing,” he says. “We want to show—and grow—where it is being recycled, and what it is being recycled into.”

Consumer Education

Krieger says the first priority will be to educate consumers on where to recycle so they can be confident the materials are being recycled into new products.

Alison Keane, FPA president and CEO, says consumer education will be a key to success.

Initially, public messaging and campaigns targeted at specific communities will enable FFRA to build a toolkit of data-backed solutions it will then share and expand, Krieger says.

“To do that, we’ll work with regional and community partners and leverage our member’s knowledge and experiences in educating and motivating consumers to action,” he says. “One of the biggest challenges will be to build consumer confidence in the film recycling system, which is why we’re building verification into the system from the beginning.”

FFRA intends to release its directory at the National Plastics Conference in October 2024. It is working with industry partners to develop a verification program so that it is confident with the information that will be in the directory.

“FFRA is currently working with retailers to populate the film directory,” Krieger says. “The primary focus is to get the directory online and operational for consumer use.”

For more information on the Alliance, contact

Thomas A. Barstow is senior editor of FlexPACK VOICE®.