Questions & Answers

  1. What are the main Plastics traded on the Rebound Platform?
    PET, HDPE, PP  (rigid containers) LDPE and LLDPE (film in bales)

     

  2. What are the key formats that plastics are traded on the Rebound Platform?
    PET, HDPE, PP  baled post-consumer rigid containers, washed flake, extruded pellet, LDPE and LLDPE film in bales
     

  3. Why is baling size, shape and pattern important?
    Baling size and shape ensure that it can be readily handled by recyclers with standard equipment.
     

  4. Why is there a need to not use cross bound bale straps?
    This is to ensure safe and simple de-baling operations in recycling plants
     

  5. Is there a specification for the type of big bag to be used?
    Yes, these are designed for efficient and safe packing into containers
     

  6. Why is there a pallet required for the shipping of big bags?
    Pallets are standardised and used for safe movement of big bags into and out of containers
     

  7. Why is labelling important for any product being shipped?
    Labelling ensures that the product can be traced to the source with all of its quality attributes to ensure that the customer is able to get what they have ordered.
     

  8. Why is traceability of the plastics material source important prior to being traded?
    Traceability ensures that the correct materials can be selected by the buyer and that it is clear who is responsible for any non-conformance.
     

  9. Why is licensing of each company that ships and receives waste important?
    Licensing ensures that only organisations that are properly accredited and equipped to deal with waste are involved to ensure wastes are always correctly managed. This is a requirement in many countries to ensure only authorised and sound environmental practices are used in handling waste materials.
     

  10. What is the “end of waste” and why is it important?
    The “End of waste” is a legal definition that describes the state that materials achieve once they are processed and purified, and are no longer classified legally as wastes.
     

  11. Which standards are used to define the quality standards of the specifications used on the Rebound Platform?
    The standards include the common standards encountered globally such as ISO, EN, ASTM, BSI, DIN. These are widely acknowledged and readily accessible.
     

  12. What is the difference between ISO, ASTM and why do the specifications have a mixture of test methods from different standards bodies?
    The test procedures are often very similar and may differ only in small details. There has been a lot of standardisation under the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which has unified many of the national standards used by individual countries. Differences still exist especially where unique features being specified and standards may have been developed in one country. However, there are strong moves to standardise where possible.
     

  13. Why does a bale inspection require bale breaking?
    Bale breaking allows the true representation of a bale to be obtained to sufficiently characterise the composition in a statistically significant way.
     

  14. Which sources can provide the testing methods specified?
    The testing methods can be obtained from the organisations that published them . It is normal that the standards must be purchased and that up-to-date copies must always be used. Some test procedures are free.
     

  15. Why do the specifications define products with very low contamination and unwanted other plastics levels?
    The low levels of contamination are required to meet the needs of recyclers and to comply with the Basel Convention on the shipment of waste and specifically plastics.
     

  16. Why is it important to test each batch of material before it is exported?
    To ensure that there is a measure of the variability in the product to avoid the chance that out-of-specification materials are about to be shipped.
     

  17. Is there a procedure for the sampling of products that will be exported?
    Yes it is detailed for bales, flakes and pellets in the RPX testing protocols.
     

  18. Will the testing require any dedicated equipment?
    Yes the equipment is specified by the testing procedures
     

  19. Are there techniques to improve the quality of products so that they can reach the Rebound specifications?
    Yes, there are many techniques to improve the quality of products either before, during or after the product has been made. The members of RPX can seek support from specialists on these matters if they are unable to deliver the improvements by their own resources.
     

  20. What is meant by “almost free of contamination” in terms of the composition of a bale of plastic products?
    The definition of “almost free of contamination” means a product that has virtually no contamination other than the plastic it represents. In EU this means a maximum of 2% non-target material. This level can be different for other countries with some being even more strict.
     

  21. Why do the specifications only select plastics that can be recycled in an environmentally sound manner?
    This is to ensure that unwanted plastics are not going to be shipped to customers. This ensures that customers get what they pay for.
     

  22. What are prohibited impurities in traded products.
    The prohibited materials are typically materials that are hazardous, non-recyclable and food residues. Also materials that are harmful to recycling are also identified as prohibited. These are listed in the product specifications.
     

  23. Why is the origin of the plastics important?
    The origin of the plastic will define the regulations that they comply with during resin manufacturing and provide background on the suitability for other markets where differing standards might limit acceptability. This is important for aspects such as food contact regulations associated with PET.
     

  24. What are pre-consumer plastics?
    Pre-consumer plastics are usually materials and packaging that became scrap materials before having been put onto the retail market.
     

  25. What are post-industrial plastics?
    Post-industrial plastics will have been used by industry often in controlled circumstances and not been discarded into a waste stream
     

  26. What is the Basel Convention and how does it affect the shipment of post-consumer plastics?
    The Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the “Basel Convention”, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). The convention is also intended to minimise the rate and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and to assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate. It also covers the movement of plastics wastes.
     

  27. What is non-hazardous waste and why are there limits on the presence of these materials?
    Non-Hazardous Waste can include materials like Minerals, Rubber, Wood, Sacks, Hazardous waste, Medical waste, Glass, Oxo- or degradable material, Food contamination, Silicone, PET-G, C-PET, PS, Textiles electronics and batteries.
    They are excluded because they don’t contribute to the final product being recycled and burden the buyer with their ultimate disposal.
     

  28. Are there different specifications for PET?
    Yes there are different PET specification to match various applications for PET which can be used for bottles, sheet, textiles and other applications.
     

  29. Why are PET thermoforms limited in level in bales of PET bottles?
    The specifications of PET Thermoforms are different to those of bottles and they can contain bi-layer and multilayer plastic materials that can damage the appearance and performance of PET bottles made from these recycled mixtures.
     

  30. Why is PVC listed as an impurity?
    PVC is a very sensitive impurity because it decomposes during recycling and creates harmful impacts on the recycled PET in terms of colour and compliance to food grade regulations.
     

  31. Can mixed plastics bales of plastics be traded on the Rebound platform?
    Yes if they are made up of PET, HDPE and PP mixtures only.
     

  32. Why is IV an important test parameterfor PET?
    IV stands for Intrinsic Viscosity which is used as number that indicates the processability and properties of PET plastics and different processes require different IV ranges.
     

  33. What does the L*,a*, b* values mean in colour measurement of plastics?
    L*,a*, b* are the coordinates of a colour sphere that can describe any colour
    L* is a measure of brightness
    a* is a measure of the red-greeness
    b* is a measure of the yellow-blueness
     

  34. What is the difference between natural and white and ivory?
    Natural is a plastic without any or minimal pigments
    White is a plastic with white pigment
    Ivory is a plastic with an off shade of white which might be slightly yellow or grey
     

  35. What is plastic Regrind?
    Plastic regrind is plastic parts or packaging that have been put through a mechanical granulator and are typically sized between 8 and 12 mm in diameter.
     

  36. What is involved in preloading inspections and final loading container inspection?
    Pre-loading inspections involve sampling the bales and bags of products to measure the composition of the bales and the validate the composition of the bags as well as ensuring the full quantity is exactly as specified by the shipping request.
     

  37. What is the role of an auditor?
    The auditor is an independent expert that can validate that the materials conform to the specifications which give reassurance that the traded product will be exactly as described on the trading platform.
     

  38. What is the difference between Rebound Certification and GRS?
    The GRS is intended to meet the needs of companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate) and to verify responsible social, environmental and chemical practices in their production. The objectives of the GRS are to define requirements to ensure accurate content claims and good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical impacts are minimised.

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