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Harmonised standards key to plastic recycling

A new report calls on the plastics supply chain to establish industry wide quality standards to boost circularity efforts.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste and consultancy Eunomia have collaborated with stakeholders on the feasibility of creating harmonised specifications for quality recyclates. They say the work has shown the potential for building a foundation for a stronger market for secondary plastics worldwise.

‘The lack of defined quality standards for mechanical recyclates hampers the supply chain efficiency and industry alignment that is required to meet voluntary and legislative requirements for recycled content in consumer products,’ they say.

To address this, they add, the supply chain should ‘collectively establish pragmatic and industry aligned recyclates quality specifications that accelerate circularity targets’.

Three polyolefins

Specifically, these specifications would include those for three polyolefins, impacting on the production of HDPE blow moulded bottles, LDPE extruded shrink film, and PP injection moulded caps and tubs.

‘This work has demonstrated that aligning industry on common specifications for high-quality mechanical recyclates is possible,’ says Martyn Tickner, a senior advisor at the Alliance. ‘The plastics industry has ambitious recycling targets which call for rapid development of sorting infrastructure and deployment of complementary recycling technologies.

‘Together with the industry, the Alliance looks forward to continuing our contribution to this transition. We believe rapid adoption of quality standards throughout the value chain is a key step in this process.’

The report can be found here.

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