RecyClass: Advancing Plastic Packaging Recyclability

The latest updates from RecyClass, enhancing plastic packaging recyclability through improved protocols and design guidelines.

RecyClass: Advancing Plastic Packaging Recyclability

Following the findings of 18 testing campaigns commissioned in 2023, RecyClass has updated its Recyclability Evaluation protocols and unveiled a new set of Design for Recycling Guidelines applicable to all plastic packaging streams. This comprehensive update equips the industry with the latest recommendations to enhance the recyclability of plastic packaging.

Various components underwent evaluation through independent testing facilities, focusing on the behavior of common packaging technologies during sorting and recycling processes. The tests adhered to standardized methods outlined in the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocols.

After aligning with the Associations of Plastics Recyclers (APR), RecyClass refined the Recyclability Evaluation Protocols to enhance processing conditions and material characterization. New testing procedures were developed for PET bottles and adhesives applied on PET bottles.

Recognizing that sorting is pivotal for high-quality recycling, RecyClass conducted trials on non-PE decorations on HDPE bottles, offering extensive coverage. Additionally, trials on PP and HDPE rigid rolling packaging aimed to elucidate the sorting performances of different plastics.

Noteworthy updates to the Guidelines include a detailed classification of ink binders and AlOx coatings with PVOH primer in PO films, along with PU-based materials for laminating adhesives in PP flexible packaging.

In the realm of rigid packaging, the introduction of the MFI of PE closures used on PE containers is significant. Thermoplastic elastomers received classification as fully compatible with recycling for both HDPE and PP streams. The importance of label removability in HDPE rigid packaging was also emphasized.

"Thanks to the continuous and dedicated collaboration with scientific laboratories, RecyClass continues providing science-based and standardized tools to guide the value chain in the transition towards plastics circularity," commented Paolo Glerean, Chairman of RecyClass.

The latest design recommendations have been incorporated into the RecyClass Online Tool and the RecyClass Recyclability Certification Scheme. Simultaneously, new testing campaigns are already underway, further enhancing the insights found in the RecyClass Design for Recycling Guidelines.


Keywords

RecyClass , plastic packaging , recyclability evaluation , design for recycling , testing campaigns

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