In order to find the best management practices for sorting plastics, entities have regularly taken samples to gather data for comparison. The studies include taking samples of plastics from various locations for sorting, weighing, and categorizing. The data gathered helps the industry understand the changes and new varieties of plastic waste over time. However, the studies can be difficult to compare with one another without a standard testing process in place. The data becomes skewed by the different ways plastics are being categorized within the studies.
Recently, the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) released a standardized process for testing plastic waste. The new process is designed to create consistency when gathering data for comparison. Using the new Plastic Sorting Categories helps municipalities and businesses learn what kinds of waste are trending. This information affects decisions being made to programs in the future.