A new European wide standard for recycling post-consumer plastics should increase recycling rates across the region, according to the scheme's partners.
The new certification and audit scheme – EuCertPlast – will implement existing CEN standard 14343 on post-consumer plastics recycling. By standardising the process and focusing on traceability, plastics recycling rates will increase, says the organisation.
The certification will also improve REACH and food contact compliance and increase transparency, it adds.
Antonio Furfari, from European Plastics Converters, one of the scheme's partners, says the aim was to have a well-established and transparent plastics recycling industry.
“Recyclers need to show the customers – the converters and suppliers – that they are operating correctly,” he told European Plastics News.
Furfari says EuCertPlast will monitor the entire recycling process, from entry of waste material to final recycled product, and will check the manufacturer has the necessary permits for stages such as stock management, recycling process and recycling output.
Next year, EuCertPlast will combine with Germany's Blue Angel scheme, a certification for products that are environmentally friendly. Products certified by EuCertPlast across Europe could potentially show the Blue Angel label, said Furfari.
The EuCertPlast is currently audited by Germany-based Cyclos but the organisation are looking to accredit more auditors across the EU, “at least one per country”, he added.
The partners include the European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR), European Plastics Converters (EuPC), cyclos, The European Plastics Recycling Organisation (EPRO), Recovinyl, ITW Group and Scoeller Arca Systems.
EuPR says the European plastics recycling industry currently comprising 1,500 companies which recycle more than 4.5m tonnes or waste per annum.
According to a paper released by EuPR in 2010, 24.9m tonnes of plastics used by consumers ended up as post-consumer waste in 2008. Some 51.3% of this waste was recovered, with 5.3m tonnes recycled as material and feedstock and 7.5m tonnes recovered as energy.