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Verifying Recycled Content in Plastic Products: Standards and Certification Schemes Review

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of plastic waste, there has been a growing demand for more sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. One approach to tackling this issue is through the use of recycled plastic materials, which can reduce waste and conserve resources.

However, verifying the recycled content of plastic products can be a complex and challenging task, requiring standardised certification schemes and rigorous testing procedures. This list below is the comparative review of the standards and certification schemes used to verify recycled content in plastic products, providing the jurisdiction of each approach.

  • EN 15343: 2007 Plastics Recycling Traceability and Assessment of Conformity and Recycled Content (Europe): The CEN published a standard that outlines the required mechanical recycling procedures for products made from recycled plastics. The standard provides traceability proof and enables manufacturers to use recycled materials with confidence.

  • ISO 22095 Chain of Custody – General Terminology and Models (Global): This resource offers clear definitions of various CoC models and their requirements, applicable to all industries, materials, and products. It can serve as a reference for any organization at any stage of the supply chain or for standard setting organizations developing CoC standards.

  • International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Plus (Global): A global voluntary certification system that certifies sustainable, deforestation-free, and traceable supply chains for materials from agriculture, forestry as well as waste and residue raw materials, non-bio renewables and recycled carbon materials and fuels. The standard can be applied to all markets including chemical and energy markets, as well as food and animal feed

  • UL 2809 Environmental Claim Validation Procedure (ECVP) for Recycled Content (Global): This program provides third-party validation of products' recycled content, including post-consumer, pre-consumer, closed-loop, and Ocean Bound Plastic. It certifies any material or industry, from electronics to jewelry and batteries, and has completed projects involving glass, gold, copper, tantalum, and cobalt throughout the supply chain.

  • SCS Recycled Content Standard (Global): This voluntary standard assesses products made from pre-consumer or post-consumer waste material and measures the percentage of recycled content to make accurate claims in the market.

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) Postconsumer Resin (PCR) Certification (USA): Assures converters and brand owners that the material they are purchasing and using in their packaging is post-consumer recycled (PCR).

  • GreenBlue Recycled Material Standard (RMS) (North America): A market-based framework for consistent labeling of recycled content products and packaging, either through CoC certification or ARC certificate trading.

  • EuCertPlast (Europe): This is a Europe-wide voluntary certification program designed to acknowledge high-standard recyclers of pre- and post-consumer plastic waste who operate according to strict standards.

  • RecyClass (Europe): This is a voluntary audit scheme conducted by a third-party to confirm the traceability of recycled materials across all stages of the value chain, also ensures that the origin of the material, whether pre- / post-consumer, is accurately reflected in product claims.

  1. Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) (Global): Voluntary standard for third-party certification of recycled input and CoC, aimed at promoting greater use of recycled materials. The affiliated CCS verifies the accuracy of content claims by confirming the presence and quantity of a raw material in a final product.

  • RSB Standard for Advanced Products (Global): This scheme certifies all industries, including plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, packaging, tableware, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, food, feed, pulp, and paper. It uses a single, consistent standard for bio-based, recycled content, attributed systems.

  • RAL Quality Mark for Recycled PET (Germany): This certification is granted to fillers, bottle and preform manufacturers, and recycling companies that meet quality and testing requirements for producing PET beverage bottles from post-consumer waste.

  • QA-CER Recycled Content Certification System (Global): This is a voluntary third-party system certification that is based on the principles of ISO 9001, including CoC.

  • Istituto per la Promozione delle Plastiche da Riciclo (IPPR) Plastica Seconda Vita (PSV) (Italy): This voluntary product certification scheme certifies mechanically recycled plastic and was developed in Italy. Its purpose is to make recycled plastic products more visible and identifiable to public administrations and companies with a public capital focus.

  • Cradle to Cradle Certified (USA): This certification program assigns an A, B, C, X, or GREY rating to recycled content materials that undergo assessment when used in finished products seeking certification.

Summary Table

In conclusion, verifying recycled content in plastic products is becoming increasingly important in today's world. With a growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, consumers and businesses alike are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet. Standards and certification schemes play a vital role in ensuring that recycled content is accurately measured and reported, giving consumers the confidence they need to make informed purchasing decisions. By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in this area, businesses can position themselves as leaders in sustainability and meet the changing demands of today's market.

Attention businesses seeking to incorporate recycled content in plastic products! We understand that navigating this landscape can be daunting, which is why we recommend seeking the assistance of Peterson Projects and Solutions Indonesia. As professional consultants in sustainable business practices and certification, we can guide you towards your sustainability goals while ensuring industry compliance. Contact us at for more information. Let's work towards a greener future together.


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