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SPI introduced the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system in 1988 at the urging of recyclers around the country. A growing number of communities were implementing recycling programs in an effort to decrease the volume of waste subject to rising tipping fees at landfills. In some cases, these programs were driven by state-level recycling mandates.
The code was developed to meet recyclers' needs while providing manufacturers a consistent, uniform system that could apply nationwide. Because municipal recycling programs traditionally have targeted packaging - primarily containers - the coding system offered a means of identifying the resin content of bottles and containers commonly found in the residential waste stream. The RICs are used solely to identify the plastic resin used in a manufactured article.
SPI Resin Identification Code - Guide to Correct Use
Understanding the Resins Code
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