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RecyClass publishes methodology for plastic packaging recyclability assessment

The document provides information on the assessment methods used to certify plastic package recyclability.

The “RecyClass Recyclability Methodology” document provides comprehensive information on the methods used to assess and certify the recyclability of a plastic package. By certifying packaging compatibility with a recycling process, the methodology is geared toward setting a level playing field for design for recycling claims of the value chain actors. 

RecyClass, developed by Plastics Recyclers Europe, Brussels, is an initiative that seeks to help the plastics value chain find the correct way to approach and evaluate the designing plastic packaging products for recycling, with the goal of improving their recyclability.

RecyClass specifies two Recyclability Assessments that are interconnected and have a dual qualitative-quantitative approach. They are based on the data compiled under the Design for Recycling Guidelines, as well as the Recyclability Protocols results.

The first one, Design-for-Recycling Certification, assesses a package qualitatively based on the online, self-assessment RecyClass tool. At the end of this analysis, a product under the evaluation is awarded a class ranging from A to F that demonstrates its full, partial or lack of recyclability). The second assessment, Recyclability Rate Certification, relies on a quantitative verification of a recyclability claim. It uses a specific formula developed by RecyClass in line with the highest European standards, the organization says. To allow for maximum transparency and impartiality, these certifications are performed by recognized certification bodies and independent auditors.

Paolo Glerean, RecyClass chairman, says, “With these certifications we are aiming at delivering a transparent and coherent approach to recyclability of plastic packaging, coming a step closer to a common industry understanding.”

Gian De Belder, chairman of the RecyClass advisory board and packaging technologist at Procter & Gamble, says, “The RecyClass Recyclability Methodology will undoubtedly help build confidence across the whole value chain including brand owners and, eventually, consumers.”

By providing detailed information on the modus operandi of the RecyClass freeware tool, its classes and the full calculation procedure for the Recyclability Rate Certification, the Recyclability Methodology document lays down the exact methodology and its operationalization.

Value chain actors interested in these certifications should contact RecyClass for more information at