Currently, there are no common recyclate specifications or consensuses in the European market to align the secondary plastics industry.

While several scientific and EU publications have emphasized the need for high quality recyclate, and standards such as the EN standards currently exist, the definition of quality remains unclear, and a framework to implement such quality in the recycling process is lacking.

Without consistent target specifications for quality recyclate for circular packaging, there will not be enough material to meet the recycled content demand.

The European plastics industry is not yet able to reach its recycling targets due to insufficient volumes of recycled plastic that fully meet the required quality for all key packaging applications. Furthermore, recycled content targets are expected to increase under the European Commission’s proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

We urgently need to produce recyclate quality target specifications and associated bale specifications to develop the market while the market awaits the full impact of other complementary measures such as design for recycling to be realised.

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