The European Union has set itself the goal of reusing and recycling all plastic packaging placed on the market in the EU by 2030. To achieve this, it is relying on, among other things, the creation of quality standards for secondary raw materials, the promotion of certifications, binding regulations for the minimum content of recycled content in certain products, or the reduction of single-use plastics.
With the new TÜV SÜD standard "Recyclability of Packaging", TÜV SÜD and Reclay Group are supporting manufacturers, fillers, importers, online retailers, retail chains and other suppliers who sell or circulate packaged goods on their way towards establishing circular economy systems.
"Our new TÜV SÜD standard evaluates the recyclability of packaging, including all individual components, taking into account regional collection and recovery structures, sortability as a basic prerequisite for recycling, and the market potential of secondary raw materials to replace primary raw materials. In combination with precise material testing, we thus achieve the highest level of accuracy for certification," explains Robert Hermann, Business Unit Manager "Environmental Technology & Climate Protection" at TÜV SÜD in Austria.
Barbara Hettche, Senior Consultant at the Reclay Group, adds: "Often, even small changes lead to significant improvements. The use of digital technology ensures maximum transparency and holistic assessment of the recyclability of packaging. We can also use it to clearly show which levers should be used for any optimizations. This creates added value for companies even during the testing and certification process."
The testing and certification process takes between one and three months, depending on the product in question. Following a corresponding application, material samples as well as product and process data are obtained. Based on the product testing as well as the factory production control by TÜV SÜD, the team of experts at the Reclay Group creates a "digital twin" of the packaging. This documentation of materials, weights and dimensions enables all relevant influencing factors for evaluating the recyclability of packaging to be taken into account.
If desired, this step can also be scientifically accompanied by the Chair of Waste Recycling Technology & Waste Management at the renowned University of Leoben.
TÜV SÜD then documents the results in an audit or final report. After successful completion of the audit and certification process, the certificate is valid for three years.