Design for Recycling: the value chain of plastics packaging works towards a harmonised assessment of recyclability

plastics packaging

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 — In 2019, several players from the value chain of plastics packaging joined forces in the RecyClass Platform initiative, to create harmonised Design for Recycling Guidelines, a scoring method, and test protocols to assess the recyclability of plastics packaging and of new packaging technologies in the European market. Working in line with the RecyClass guidelines makes it much clearer for designers to create recyclable packaging, and for brands and converters to assess the recyclability of their existing specific packages.

Brand owners, retailers and converters can make a first self-assessment of the recyclability of their specific plastics packaging using the Design for recycling guidelines and the freeware scoring available on the RecyClassTool via The next step is to obtain a certification of this self-assessment by a third party.

In order to operationalize this certification, RecyClass will rely on a series of recognised Certification Bodies throughout Europe, that are qualified to assess packaging according to RecyClass method. The first three organisations that expressed their interest in becoming Certification Bodies are plastship, RECOUP and SUEZ.Circpack®. The auditors will be qualified via an Accreditation Course in compliance with the Procedures and Quality Management Systems for Recyclability Certification.

“This is a great improvement.”

says Gian de Belder, chairman of the Advisory Board of RecyClass,

“Brand owners and packaging companies typically work cross-border. So far, we have seen that many different regional guidelines and scoring methods were in place. These differences made it almost impossible to make choices that would serve all markets. Now the value chain can really focus on improving recyclability of packaging for the whole of Europe”.

Moreover, the collaboration focuses on the development of sorting protocols and the establishment of a database of collection schemes across Europe which will also be considered when assessing the recyclability of a package.

Further extension of this collaboration is expected in the coming months. Any other initiatives and bodies working on plastic packaging design are welcome to join this collaboration to ultimately make plastic circular.

Source :

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