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RecyClass methodology meant to provide level playing field for design for recycling

European initiative designed to help brand owners and converters improve plastic packaging

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A new RecyClass Recyclability Methodology document from Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) provides comprehensive information on the assessment methods used to assess and certify recyclability of a plastic package.

By certifying packaging compatibility with a recycling process, the methodology is geared towards setting a level playing field for design for recycling claims of the value chain actors.  

RecyClass was established by Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) with the aim of helping brand owners and converters improve the design of their plastic packaging. Three main pillars guide the activities of RecyClass: Recyclability Evaluation Protocols, Design for Recycling Guidelines and the RecyClass Online Tool. These three pillars are interlinked, leading to sound/coherent and lab-based conclusions that are incorporated throughout the initiative.

RecyClass specifies two Recyclability Assessments which are interconnected and have a dual qualitative-quantitative approach. They are based on the data compiled under Design for Recycling Guidelines, as well as Recyclability Protocols results.

The Design-for-Recycling Certification assesses a package qualitatively based on the online, self-assessment RecyClass tool. At the end of this analysis, a product under the evaluation is awarded a class that demonstrates its full (class A), partial or no recyclability (class F). 

The second assessment, Recyclability Rate Certification, relies on a quantitative verification of a recyclablity claim. It uses a specific formula developed by RecyClass in line with the highest European standards. To allow for maximum transparency and impartiality, these Certifications are performed by recognised Certification Bodies and independent auditors.

Paolo Glerean, RecyClass Chairman commented: "With these certifications we are aiming at delivering a transparent and coherent approach to recyclability of plastic packaging, coming a step closer to a common industry understanding."

The RecyClass Recyclability Methodology will undoubtedly help build confidence across the whole value chain including brand owners and, eventually, consumers," added Gian De Belder, Chairman of the RecyClass Advisory Board and Packaging Technologist, Procter & Gamble.

By providing detailed information, among others, on the modus operandi of the RecyClass freeware tool, its classes, as well as the full calculation procedure for the Recyclability Rate Certification, the Recyclability Methodology document lays down the exact methodology and its operationalization.

Value chain actors interested in these certifications can contact RecyClass for more information.

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

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