Circular Plastics Alliance in establishing a work plan to develop guidelines and standards of plastic products


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Based on data (from the years 2014-2018) included in this study’s mass flow model, a current annual production of 3.8 million tonnes of recyclate is estimated for a set of identified priority products. This falls short of the EU target of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics to be used annually in the EU by 2025. An analysis of 25 industry-led design-for-recycling guidelines (24 for packaging and one for EEE) shows that: most provide a matrix or checklist with restrictions, requirements or targets for specific product features to increase recyclability; many use a three-choice classification system; and some provide a logo or label for compliance.

Key success factors for design-for-recycling guidelines include: holistic, transparent, precise and consistent guidelines developed in cooperation with the whole value chain; striking a balance between an EU-wide harmonised approach and respecting country specificities; and the use of certification or labels for products complying with guidelines. It is recommended that the CPA contribute to establishing a holistic and harmonised approach to guideline development, including regular updating, an enhanced testing process and greater consistency and clarity. In parallel, the CPA should continue promoting the use of guidelines, to increase their uptake throughout the value chain.

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