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Story 7: RecyClass: An Industry-led Initiative to Certify Recycled Content in Plastic Products
RecyClass is a comprehensive cross-industry initiative facilitating the transition toward a circular plastic future. RecyClass advances plastic packaging recyclability and ensures traceability and transparency of recycled plastic content in Europe.
Plastic Recyclers Europe – an industry association, established RecyClass with the aim of helping brand owners and converters improve the design of their plastic packaging. Design for recycling is among the key aspects of a producer responsibility approach that includes consideration of compatibility of materials, easy separation and the use of additives, as these elements play a role in determining the recyclability of a given product.
RecyClass works on the development of scientific testing methods for materials, with results incorporated into Design for Recycling Guidelines. In parallel, RecyClass developed a system for reliable calculation and verification of recycled content in plastic products. The scheme relies on the principles of traceability and transparency. For companies who commit to the next steps of the circular plastic journey, RecyClass created these certifications:
- Recyclability Certifications:
RecyClass Recyclability Certification: evaluates the compatibility of plastic packaging with the entire waste management chain, which includes collection, sorting, recycling, and ability of the recycled material to be reused in its original application. To be eligible for the recyclability assessment, all design features of the packaging must be covered by the RecyClass Design for Recycling Guidelines.
Recycling Process Certification: plastic recyclers can demonstrate the quality of their processes and transparently communicate the origin of waste. The audit scheme requirements are aligned with those of EN 15343:2007 and ISO 22095:2020 standards. The Certification of the Recycling Process is the point of origin audit for the chain of custody of recycled plastics. Certified recyclers foster trust among the plastics value chain actors, facilitating a continuous increase in the transparent and verified use of recycled plastics.
Recycled Plastic Traceability Certification: The Certification focuses on the traceability of recycled plastics within a process and the verification of a given percentage of recycled plastic content in products. The audit scheme was developed in alignment with EN 15343 and the principles of controlled blending chain of custody model as defined in ISO 22095.
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