New plastic recycling standard to be implemented across Europe

A new certification and audit scheme for recycling post-consumer plastics will be officially launched Europe-wide in August, and is expected to increase recycling rates and transparency within the industry.

EuCertPlast was devised and launched by European Plastics Converters (EuPC), European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR), the European Plastics Recycling Organisation (EPRO) and other converters, recyclers and collectors in order to certify and audit post-consumer plastics recycling across Europe.

After two years of deliberation among the aforementioned organisations, EuCertPlast has attained the status of ‘standard’, meaning that companies may now volunteer themselves to be examined by a growing pool of auditors who will soon represent each country in the EU.

EuCertPlast hopes to standardise transparency, waste traceability, and environmentally friendly best practices within the plastics recycling industry and is expected to increase plastic recycling rates.

The standard will implement existing European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) standard 15343 on post-consumer plastics recycling.

“A suitable harmonized auditing scheme for Europe was needed due to the difficulty in gaining access to plastics waste from the different and often complex national systems”, said Tom Emans, President of EuPR, one of the scheme’s partners. “Now with EuCertPlast a level playing field has been created and plastics recyclers can work with all national collection schemes to get access to raw materials for further treatment in Europe.”

Companies who meet the standards, that monitor the entire recycling process from beginning to end, verify that companies have the correct permits and ensure they are following the proper procedures, will be rewarded with a European Certificate.

Alexandre Dangis, Managing Director of EuPC said: “…we have been able to demonstrate that good practices on post-consumer plastics recycling should be rewarded with a European Certificate and this will boost the use of recyclates in Europe by plastics converters.”

Additionally, in 2013, EuCertPlast will be adopted by the German Blue Angel programme, an already-existing European certification scheme.

Francis Huysman, Co-Chairman of EPRO said that the standards “will enable our members, which include some of the largest plastics recovery organisations in Europe, to have confidence that recyclers holding this certification will process their plastics to the highest possible operational and environmental standards.”

The European Plastics Recycling industry comprises 1,500 companies, recycling more than 4.5 million tonnes of plastic waste, according to EuCertPlast.

More information can be found on the EuCertPlast website.