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Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF)




The MRFF project was developed to understand how materials flow in a materials recovery facility (MRF) and what existing technologies could be employed to sort loose, flexible film for resale. Flow studies were conducted at three MRFs across the US and Canada, with the objective of evaluating the role of existing sorting technologies in increased diversion. Economics, as well as technical capability, were evaluated.

Key learnings

  • A loose automated collection pathway has the potential to be more scalable and cost effective than bagged collection, particularly in larger MRFs.
  • Optical sorters show promise as a sorting mechanism for flexible films, however, cost variabilities in MRFs for optical sorters range widely due to variability in existing systems.
  • Much of curbside film will not be marketable because there are limited end markets for multi-layer, multi-resin compositions.Future work by MRFF intends to identify and support end market development.

Additional Information

MRFF is administered by the American Chemistry Council’s Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives and managed by Resource Recycling Solutions (RRS).

Additional Partners Include:

  • Amcor
  • Dow Chemical
  • PepsiCo
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • LyondellBasell
  • Nestle Purina PetCare
  • Nestle USA
  • Plum Organics
  • Sealed Air
  • SC Johnson
  • Target
  • American Chemistry Council (ACC)
  • Flexible Packaging Association (FPA)
  • SPI: The Plastic Industry Trade Association
  • Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR)

Website: Materials Recovery for the Future

Project Report: Flexible Packaging Sortation at Materials Recovery Facilities

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