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Are Resin Identification Codes Required?

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Are Resin Identification Codes Required?

Question

Are SPI codes (chasing arrows) on packaging required anywhere in the U.S.?

Answer

You are most likely referring to the resin identification codes (RICs), which were developed as a voluntary coding system by The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) in 1988. This system provides a way for recyclers and the public to identify resin content of bottles and containers commonly found in the residential waste stream, thereby facilitating the sorting of bottles and containers. While there are no federal regulations requiring the use of RICs, 39 states have enacted legislation on the use of these codes. Specifically, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin have adopted legislation regarding the use of the resin identification codes on bottles of 16 ounces or more and rigid containers of 8 ounces or more consistent with the SPI code. (Wisconsin requires use of the code on bottles of 8 ounces or more.)

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