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Handout on the use of recycled plastics in products

The publication is intended to help with the classification and differentiation of recycled plastics under waste legislation in practice.

The handout, published by the German Plastics Processing Industry Association (Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie - GKV) together with the German Association of the Waste Management, Water and Recycling Industries (Bundesverband der deutschen Entsorgungs-, Wasser und Kreislaufwirtschaft - BDE) and the German Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Disposal (Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung - bvse), is intended to clarify waste law issues relating to determining when a material is to be classified as a plastic recyclate and when it is not. The guide also addresses the distinction between post-consumer and post-industrial materials, as well as the criteria under which production and processing residues are considered so-called by-products and not waste, using practical examples, it says. In addition, the publishers say the handout provides guidance on traceability and product labeling. "The demand for recyclates will rise sharply in the future because many companies have set themselves ambitious circular economy targets. Added to this are the recyclate quotas planned by politicians. First and foremost, clarity is needed about what actually constitutes recyclates," explains Dr. Andreas Bruckschen, deputy managing director of the BDE. "In practice, the distinction between waste and so-called by-products in particular often causes difficulties. This is due to the complicated legal criteria that have to be examined in each individual case. Yet the demarcation is crucial: because without waste, there is no recyclate!" emphasizes Bruckschen. Dr. Martin Engelmann, General Manager of the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen and responsible in the GKV for the environment and consumer protection, explains, "The use of recycled plastics makes an important contribution on the way to a climate-neutral circular economy, because it reduces CO2 emissions in product manufacture and dependence on fossil raw materials." Recyclates are already irreplaceable for the supply of raw materials to the plastics industry today and are becoming increasingly important, Engelmann emphasizes, adding, "With the handout, we want to promote change in the industry and ensure a common understanding of the most important terms as well as transparency in communication."
Further information: download the handout in German or English


  •, Pressrelease IK (Nov. 3, 2022)
  • Photo: Fotolia

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