FAQ

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A:

hdpeHDPE, or High-Density Polyethylene, is a plastic material frequently used in many packaging applications, including packaging for milk and water jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles and some plastic bags. Bottles made from HDPE carry the triangle with the number two (#2) symbol on the bottom.

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EcoPrime™ is made from recycled, food packaging via a unique, patented cleaning process, designed to eliminate contaminants. It is made for direct food contact and can be used for the packaging of beverages, vitamins, medicines and dry and aqueous personal care products.

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EcoPrime™ can be used in a variety of applications ranging from film in flexible packaging, to blow molded plastic containers, to injection molded containers and parts. EcoPrime™is considered a safe substitute for conventional HDPE plastic in many packaging applications, including:

  • Dairy products, dry foods, condiments, and other products
  • Dry and aqueous personal and beauty care applications where food grade material is required or simply desired due to its exceptional cleanliness
  • Vitamins and medicine

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Yes, EcoPrime™ HDPE can be recycled through similar channels and processes as virgin resin. Use of EcoPrime™ in HDPE containers does not prevent those containers from carrying the #2 recycling categorization.

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EcoPrime™ is produced from post-consumer recycled HDPE (#2) bottles, such as milk and water jugs collected curbside across the United States. Envision purchases bales of natural HDPE bottles from waste haulers and community materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and sorts them further so that the feedstock is primarily food grade bottles that originally packaged milk, water, juice, and other food and beverage products.

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The sorted, natural HDPE (#2) bottles are ground into flakes and washed to remove labels and other contaminants from the plastic. The flakes are dried and sorted again to remove contaminants. Next, the flakes are put into a large, vacuum vented extruder and pelletized. The pellets are subjected to Envision’s proprietary and patented cleaning process to produce EcoPrime™ pellets. This process involves placing the pellets into a large, silo-like vessel, exposing them to regulated heat and airflow for a period; thereby cleaning the plastic and removing most absorbed volatile compounds.

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The EcoPrime™ pellets are subjected to Envision’s proprietary and patented cleaning process. The process involves placing the pellets in a large silo-like vessel and subjecting the pellets to regulated heat and airflow over a period of time that cleans the plastic and removes nearly all absorbed volatile compounds. This decontamination process is very safe—there are no added chemicals.

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Envision has implemented a sophisticated quality assurance system to ensure the purity of EcoPrime™. Envision subjects samples from each lot to extraction tests to verify that residual volatiles and semi-volatiles fall below the FDA’s minimum requirements. Envision’s lab includes a gas chromatograph to conduct these extraction tests. Additionally, respected external laboratories are often used to corroborate and verify our test results.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition website has published guidance documents for the use of recycled plastic in food packaging. They require that the “recycled material is of suitable purity for its intended use and will meet all existing specifications for virgin material.” Since 1998, EcoPrime™ has been proven to meet these standards and has received a No Objection Letter (NOL) from the FDA.

(FDA NOL #52, Jan. 16, 1998, reaffirmed 2015.)

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The letter can be obtained from the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition website under Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging. It is letter number 52. Or you can simply contact us at info@envisionplastics.com and we’ll be happy to provide a copy.