RecyClass has updated its Design for Recycling Guidelines and Recyclability Evaluation Protocols in line with recent developments in packaging features and recycling technologies.
After conducting a reported fifteen test campaigns and issuing fifty Recyclability Approvals in 2022, new evaluations were carried out regarding the recycling compatibility of components appearing recurrently in rigid and flexible packaging. The behaviour of polypropylene in the rigid HDPE recycling stream, the impact of HPDE on the polypropylene stream, and the compatibility of different types of lids for polystyrene pots, as well as such technologies as laminating adhesives and functional barriers, were all tested.
In response, new guidelines have been developed for white and natural polystyrene, polypropylene, and HDPE containers in collaboration with the relevant value chain players. White packaging in general has been noted as having a high material value, and the updates state that white and natural packaging should be recycled in separate streams, although they leave the previous design recommendations unchanged.
Furthermore, the Recyclability Evaluation Protocols have been adjusted to fall in line with the testing procedures of the US-based Association of Plastic Recyclers with the aim of standardising recyclability evaluations across regions. This is said to include clarifications on testing conditions and definitions and alterations to accommodate for current recycling practices based on feedback from recognised RecyClass testing facilities, members, and recyclers.
RecyClass has made the new Guidelines, revised Protocols, RecyClass Internal Rules and Quality Management and Procedures for Recyclability Approvals available on its website. Moving forward, it aims to contribute towards the standardisation of design for recycling guidelines and testing protocols across Europe in line with targets for plastic packaging laid out in the proposed revisions of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
The announcement comes after RecyClass released a Design Book last summer in the hopes of establishing a definition of recyclability and creating a roadmap to designing high-quality rigid and flexible packaging for recycling.
UPM Raflatac and Dow also received RecyClass approval for their pressure-sensitive labels and polymer containers and solvent-free and water-borne lamination adhesives, respectively, in the final months of 2022.