RECYCLING GERMANY
New DIN standard for recyclate classifications / Guidelines currently non-binding
German national organisation for standardisation Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN, Berlin; www.din.de) has published a new guideline for the classification of plastics recyclates, DIN SPEC 91446, “Classification of recycled plastics by Data Quality Levels for use and (digital) trading”. This standard, which is not yet binding, is intended to form the basis for a future comprehensive European and international standard.

The new DIN SPEC document, available free of charge and in English, provides guidelines for the labelling of the type of recyclate, the proportion of recyclate in compounds, and of plastics waste as input material. Through the new standard, plastics recyclates can be classified into one of four different data quality levels. The guidelines also provide for comprehensive specifications on data volume and quality for material classification. Up until now, a lack of availability and fluctuating material grades combined with missing descriptions of recyclates had often posed high barriers to their industrial usability.

“Standards for plastics recyclates are central to their use in high-quality industry applications,” said Christian Schiller, initiator of the DIN SPEC 91446 and MD at cirplus (Hamburg, Germany; www.cirplus.com), an internet platform for trading recyclates and plastics waste. “All players in the value chain require reliable information about the materials’ content to foster the formation of an international market for recyclates.”

According to Schiller, the new norm contributes to the future of recycled plastics procurement because it is the key to unlocking demand for recovered polymers in high-quality applications. Currently, high-quality recyclates are generally more expensive than virgin material, and this price difference happens due to the absence of recognised standards for recyclates and the lack of digitisation in the industry. These factors make it difficult to provide transparency about material and create a barrier for those companies willing to use recyclates but lack information about the materials they want to buy. As Schiller noted, “Better classification of recyclates based on data depth is the first step to enable recyclates to be commercialised with ease and consistency, increasing their demand, and consequently allowing plastics waste to be recycled on scale, closing the loop for circular plastics.”

Hans-Josef Endres from the IKK Institute for Plastics and Circulation Technology at Leibniz University in Hanover, Germany, who together with his colleague Madina Shamsuyeva chaired the 16-member consortium that developed the standard, said, “The true value of this DIN SPEC lies in its free availability, as commercial interests were not key for its development.” The standard is available to everyone involved in the plastics sector, including users, processors, recyclers, and disposal companies.

On the European level, RecyClass’ Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification recently received a positive evaluation by European Accreditation, and is now ready for accreditation (see Plasteurope.com of 21.01.2022).
21.01.2022 Plasteurope.com [248605-0]
Published on 21.01.2022
Rezyklate: Neuer Klassifizierungs-Standard DIN SPEC 91446German version of this article...

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