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Customer Stories

Tyson Foods Ensures Recyclability through APR Critical Guidance Program

Hillshire Single Tray
Tyson Foods Hillshire Snack Tray

The Challenge

Ensuring Recyclability through APR Critical Guidance Program

Tyson Foods, the fastest growing portfolio of protein-centric brands, desired a recycling assessment on their Hillshire Snacking tray family. As Tyson expands its brand, feeding more and more people, they value finding a sustainable way to do it. The goal of this initiative was to ensure package compatibility with curbside mechanical recycling by leveraging APRs (Association of Plastic Recycler’s) Critical Guidance Recognition Program.

Tyson Foods Hillshire Snack Tray

The Process

Plastic Ingenuity Runs APR Testing

Plastic Ingenuity conducted a sustainable packaging assessment of the Hillshire Snacking tray family. This assessment included a recyclability evaluation using APR PP Critical Guidance protocol as a guide. As part of the upfront assessment, Plastic Ingenuity recognized the paper component in the attached label was not compatible with recycling systems.

Plastic Ingenuity facilitated conversation to source a polypropylene label instead of paper. The most difficult and aggressive design was chosen for the Critical Guidance testing. Logic being that if he most aggressive design passes, the others will pass as well. A variety of tests were conducted to simulate the recycling process: sortation, processing, and physical property tests. In addition, the new PP pressure-sensitive label was tested to guarantee there was no impact on recyclability.

Hillshire Single Trays

The Solution

A More Sustainable Approach

Test results showed all required APR protocols were successfully met for the tray and new label. The results were reviewed with APR, and Critical Guidance Recognition was issued. Overall, Tyson’s tray family met and exceeded the strictest APR PP Critical Guidance protocols.

The Results

A Resounding Success

different designs in tray family


compromise to performance


capture rate in the lab simulation