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PLASTICS RECYCLING EUROPE: Bale guidelines issued to improve recyclate quality / Applicable to various collection systems

Industry organisation Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE, Brussels / Belgium; www.plasticsrecyclers.eu) has issued a set of guidelines for recycling bales in order to improve the quality of collected and sorted plastics and take a step closer to becoming a circular economy. The guidelines are based on defining the percentage of impurities, transport and supplier.

PRE president and chairman of the LDPE working group, Ton Emans, said each product needs to be sorted towards a specific stream. He commented, “Defined and harmonised quality is needed to build sustainable waste management operations across Europe.” Herbert Snell, chairman of the HDPE/PP working group, added that the recent limitation of plastics exports to China had shown that quality definition was too poor to be accepted by advanced recycling companies.

The guidelines are available for four resins currently. These include clear, light blue, clear/blue and mixed coloured PET bottles; HDPE packaging; PE film and PP film. Specific guidelines for PP packaging, polyolefin pots, tubs and trays, PET trays and opaque PET bottles are being developed. The association is urging collectors and sorters to join the initiative, which can be applied to various systems including for deposit, kerbside or drop-off collection.

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