RecyClass has added a new guideline to its current collection of recycling protocols, after previously publishing the Protocol for PE Films and HDPE containers.
RecyClass, an initiative aiming to help the plastics value chain improve the recyclability of plastic packaging products, by providing a structured and scientifically based framework for evaluating plastic packaging innovations through the development of such protocols.
The contents of these protocols are reviewed and maintained by the RecyClass Technical Committees, composed of experts from the entire packaging value chain.
PP is often considered less economically viable to recycle due to contamination and separation issues. The recycling of PP containers has, therefore, remained ‘unexploited’, said Werner Kruschitz, Chairman of the RecyClass PP Technical Committee.
“Advancing its recyclability adds to increasing the potential of this stream and is a long-awaited step that will be valued if we are to reach the recycling targets.”
The new Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PP provides a detailed laboratory procedure on how to perform pre-treatment, extrusion, and conversion tests. By running these tests, it can be shown whether the technology or product submitted for approval will have a negative impact on the recycling process. The protocol does not include guidance on the sortability tests of a component.
According to Nico Van de Walle, who is a product & circular economy manager at Verstraete IML and a RecyClass PP Technical Committee member, the new protocol is an important development that is ‘paving the way towards circularity of PP packaging’.
“It provides brand owners and packaging producers with a laboratory procedure that measures recyclability of their technologies and shows the main points for improvement,” he noted.
RecyClass will continue to work on developing guiding documents for other types of packaging. Anyone interested in testing their innovation are encouraged to contact RecyClass.