ISRI's board approves addition of specialty grade category to its guidelines for recyclable paper stock; grade created to account for paper with certain characteristics, including presence of wet strength, polycoatings, plastic, foil, carbon paper, glues

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WASHINGTON , April 19, 2022 (press release) –

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Board of Directors approved the addition of a specialty grade to the guidelines for paper stock contained in the ISRI Scrap Specifications Circular at its Spring Board Meeting on March 21, 2022.


The Paper Division recommended to the Board of Directors for a specialty grade* to be added to the Guidelines for Paper Stock Section of the ISRI Scrap Specifications Circular and be called 37-S Silicon Release Liner.


A request from CELAB (Toward a Circular Economy for Labels) for the creation of a bale specification for silicon release liner was received towards the end of 2021. A working group reviewed and researched the request. The result was for a specialty grade to be created. This was passed by the Paper Division February 3, 2022 and a minimum of 20 days public notice was given prior to the Board review the request on March 21, 2022.

*Specialty grades as defined in the ISRI Scrap Specifications Circular:

Specialty Grades

The grades listed below are produced and traded in carload and truckload quantities throughout the United States, and because of certain characteristics (i.e., the presence of wet strength, polycoatings, plastic, foil, carbon paper, hot melt glue), are not included in the regular grades of paper stock. However, it is recognized that many mills have special equip­ment and are able to utilize large quantities of these grades. Since many paper mills around the world do use these spe­cialty grades, they are being listed with appropriate grade numbers for easy reference.

The Paper Stock Industries Chapter of ISRI is not establish­ing specific specifications, which would refer to such factors as the type of wet strength agent used, the percentage of wax, the amount of polycoating, whether it is on top of or under the printing, etc. The specification for each grade should be determined between Buyer and Seller, and it is recommended that purchase be made based on sample.

The proposed changes were previously approved by ISRI’s Paper Division in February 2022. The full Board may choose to adopt, amend, or reject the recommendations of the Division or table them pending further review. More information about the rules governing the procedures from the addition, amendment, or withdrawal of ISRI’s scrap specifications can be found in the Scrap Specifications Circular. To submit comments, recommendations, or questions please contact ISRI Chief Economist Joe Pickard. There will be an open comment period for 30 days following the vote by the Board.


The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 506,000 Americans with good jobs.

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