Driving global harmonisation for recyclability

RecyClass and the US-based Association of Plastics Recyclers reinforce their collaboration to drive worldwide harmonisation of plastic packaging recyclability.
Peter von Bechen, pixelio.de

The basis of this collaboration is a shared vision of science-based design for recycling guidelines and protocols for recyclability assessments.

This collaboration is essential for driving a unified, fact-based approach to recyclability and bringing clarity to the entire value chain, particularly for brand owners and retailers operating in multinational markets.

“RecyClass’s mission, beyond supporting the industry in redesigning plastic packaging and boosting recycled materials in new products, is to harmonize the approach toward recyclability assessment”, said Fabrizio di Gregorio, Technical Director at Plastics Recyclers Europe. “Given the similarities when it comes to the products placed on the markets globally, such harmonisation can help make the packaging production systems more efficient and, at the same time, accelerate significantly the transition toward circularity,” he added.

This collaboration includes the establishment of a common work plan to align and review the existing documents with the objective of identifying potential gaps; consolidating existing methodologies; and mapping additional testing methods. The first deliverables focused on aligning the guidelines and protocols for flexible plastics are expected at the beginning of 2023.

“The purpose of design guides is to ensure packages can be processed through the recycling infrastructure with the highest yield and best quality impact. Since the European and North American recycling infrastructures operate on many of the same principles, it is possible to harmonize much of the guidance. I’m excited that RecyClass and APR are making efforts to communicate and coordinate. These efforts benefit the entire packaging industry and circular economy,” said Curt Cozart, Chief Operating Officer at APR.

The two organizations endorsed a common definition of recyclability back in 2018, which stipulates that to be considered recyclable, a product must be able to be collected and sorted in sufficient quantities. It must be compatible with existing industrial recycling processes or be available in sufficient quantities to justify the development of new recycling processes to become a raw material for new products.

This partnership is an important effort to harmonise the standards available on the market. RecyClass, together with APR, is willing to collaborate with other organizations willing to make plastic products compatible with recycling and deliver on the EU targets of making all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030.


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