July 17, 2018 - Plastics Information Europe, Greener Package, Waste360
APR in the News
European and US organisations define “recyclable”
Plastics recycling organisations in Europe and the US have agreed on a definition of the term “recyclable” in order to provide a consistent metric in efforts towards a circular economy. Plastics Recycling Europe (PRE, Brussels / Belgium; www.plasticsrecyclers.eu) and The Association of Plastic Recyclers (Washington, D.C. / USA; www.plasticsrecycling.org) said plastics must meet four conditions if a product is to be considered recyclable.
These stipulate the product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated programme; must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes; can be processed and reclaimed or recycled with commercial processes; and becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products.
“The use of the term ‘recyclable’ is consistently used with packages and products without a defined reference point,” said Steve Alexander, president and CEO of The Association of Plastic Recyclers. “At the end of the day, recyclability goes beyond just being technically recyclable. There must be consumer access to a recycling programme, a recycler must be able to process the material and there must be an end market,” he said.
Ton Emans, PRE’s president, commented, “As recyclers, we are a fundamental part of the solution to the issue of sustainability of plastics and we need for the appropriate audiences to understand what is necessary to label a product or package ‘recyclable’.” The organisations said that while the definition is to be applied on a global scale, they understand the complexity of a global plastics recycling system and welcome comments from both the plastics recycling industry and relevant stakeholders.
Petcore Europe (Brussels; www.petcore-europe.org) has given its support to the definition. Last month, PRE issued guidelines for assessing the quality and characterisation of recycled LDPE pellets – see PIEWeb of 28.06.2018.
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