ASTM releases major revisions to Resin Identification Code (RIC) Standard
ASTM International Subcommittee D20.95 on Recycled Plastics, part of Committee D20 on Plastics, has approved major enhancements to D7611, Standard Practice for Coding Plastic Manufactured Articles for Resin Identification. ASTM D7611, first issued in 2010, covers the long-standing Resin Identification Code (RIC) system for identifying the various types of plastic resin used in manufactured articles. The Resin Identification Code was developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988 to meet the needs of recyclers and manufacturers for a consistent, uniform coding system that can be applied worldwide.
The latest revisions to D7611 further modernize the RIC system, providing for more effective utilization across the stakeholder community, while also addressing recent innovations in polymer applications and multi-layer materials. Among the major revisions to ASTM D7611 is a change to the graphic marking symbol used to identify resin type. The RIC system has used a “chasing arrows” symbol surrounding a numeral from 1 to 7 that defines the resin used in the product’s packaging. Under D7611, this marking symbol is now specified as a solid equilateral triangle around the number. The RIC system was originally developed and continues to be solely dedicated to identifying resin content, rather than product recyclability. By replacing the chasing arrows graphic – commonly associated with recycling – with an equilateral triangle, ASTM D7611 helps bring focus back to the system’s core mission: resin identification and quality control prior to recycling. The task group is also discussing whether a new code is needed for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) to enable products made from this technology to be accurately identified and distinguished from products marked as HDPE or LDPE (ASTM News Release, 11 June 2013).