Innovation

Design for Recycling initiative launched to help packaging producers

RecyClass, a Brussels-based industry initiative to promote the recyclability of plastic packaging, has announced three partners that it is working with to become Certification Bodies.

An image of plastic bottles

Plastship, RECOUP and SUEZ.Circpack® have expressed their interest in becoming accredited to approve the self-assessment of plastic packaging recyclability for brand owners, retailers and converters, in line with the RecyClass method.

The RecyClass Platform initiative formed in 2019, to create 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. This aims to make the creation of recyclable packaging simpler and for brands and converters to assess the recyclability of their existing specific packages.

Members of the Recyclass initiative include leading consumer brands, such as Danone, Colgate-Palmolive, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Loreal and Lavazza.

Brand owners, retailers and converters can make an initial self-assessment of the recyclability of their packaging using the Design for Recycling guidelines and the freeware scoring tool available on the RecyClass website.  The next step for producers is to obtain a certification of this self-assessment by a third party.

To obtain the certification, RecyClass will rely on a series of recognised Certification Bodies throughout Europe, that are qualified to assess packaging according to the RecyClass method. The auditors will be qualified via an accreditation course in compliance with the Procedures and Quality Management Systems for Recyclability Certification.

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.

Gian de Belder, Chairman of the Advisory Board of RecyClass, comments:
“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”.

Earlier this month in efforts to boost packaging recyclability, DS Smith developed circular packaging design principles to make recycling more straightforward for consumers, believing ‘a circular economy model benefits the environment and can drive growth for the packaging industry.’ This move followed a new study carried out by DS Smith that confusion surrounding recycling leads to 2.6 million tonnes of rubbish going to landfill.

You can read more on the value chain of plastics packaging partnership on RecyClass’ website.