With the aim of supporting the setup of a harmonised, pan-European data collection system for plastics recyclers and converters to record their recycling volumes and use of recycled material, three major plastics value chain initiatives have joined the PolyREC project.

Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP), Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) and European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS) have joined existing members Petcore Europe, PlasticsEurope, Plastics Recyclers Europe, and VinylPlus to become the latest participants in the project.

PolyREC now brings together data collection knowledge and expertise from Europe’s plastics manufacturers and recyclers, as well as the polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyester (PET), polyolefin (PO), polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) value chains.

The participants hope that this expanded industry representation will ensure that the recorded recycled plastics data is comprehensive, consistent and comparable across polymers and sectors.

Venetia Spencer, secretary general of PCEP, comments: “Data plays a central role in the circular economy, accelerating uptake of quality secondary raw materials by establishing trust throughout the system. We all need improved metrics to monitor progress towards circularity, to underpin investment decisions and to support compliance with current and future policies.

“PCEP is pleased to have joined this partnership to enable recyclers and users of recycled PO with an easy-to-use database to deliver these improved metrics. We welcome more members to accelerate progress together.”

Jens Kathmann, secretary-general of Styrenics Circular Solutions, added: “We are delighted to join PolyREC. This initiative is crucial in monitoring, verifying and reporting plastics recycling via RecoTrace, the innovative common data collection system. 

“The styrenics value chain is fully behind this drive to ensure traceability, transparency, and trust in recycled materials, especially within the context of meeting the objectives of the Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) and supporting the EU's 2025 recycling targets with verified recycled materials.”

Jürgen Lang, managing director of EUMEPS, concludes: “Today is a great day for EUMEPS. Our accession to PolyREC makes me very happy as it is a big step forward towards more transparency. The system will help us to showcase that EPS is already widely collected and recycled, far beyond what is generally recognized.

“Joining PolyREC will allow our sector to collect more data and to improve recycling rates even more. The verified and monitored set of data will enable us to improve existing recycling schemes and better trace waste streams.”