Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below the frequently asked questions about RecyClass and its work. The questions are grouped in three pillars: general questions, recyclability related questions, and questions on recycled content.

If your question is not listed below, please contact us.

About RecyClass

How can I join RecyClass?

Companies can apply as Members or Supporters of RecyClass by filling in the respective Application Form. The forms can be found via the following page: 

Join RecyClass

Additionally, companies or organisations applying to become Supporters must provide a Letter of Intent to the attention of the RecyClass Steering Board describing which kind of support will be offered to RecyClass.

What is the difference between RecyClass Members and RecyClass Supporters?

Any organisation, which is not directly involved in plastic manufacturing, transformation, or distribution can join as a Supportert. Raw material producers, converters, brand owners, retailers are invited to join as Members. More information on the differentiation between the two can be found in the RecyClass Membership Brochure and the Internal Rules, available on the following webpage:

Join RecyClass

What is the cost of joining as a RecyClass Member?

RecyClass membership is divided in three levels – Bronze, Gold and Platinum. The annual fees amount to €3,000, €5,000, and €10,000, respectively.

How can I access the RecyClass Online Tool?

To access the Online Tool, users are asked to make a registration via the following page:

Online Tool

The Tool is free and will allow you to self-assess the recyclability of your packaging. If you are having issues with account registration or verification, please contact us.

Recyclability Assessments

Which recyclability assessment can I perform for my packaging and what are the general features (scope, cost, time) of each type of assessment?

All general information is gathered in the brochure below, including a decision tree will help you find the suitable assessment for your packaging.

RecyClass Recyclability Assessments - Brochure

How is the confidentiality of packaging composition guaranteed?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is signed by all parties involved in the assessment process, guaranteeing confidentiality on all information related to your packaging.

RecyClass provides an NDA template to support you.

What is the process of obtain a Technology/Product Approval?

The first step is to contact the RecyClass team at info@recyclass.eu. We will evaluate with you the submitted packaging and give you some guidance on the approval relevance. Please find below a schematic view of the process.

Detailled information on the Approval Quality Management & Procedures can be found on the Approvals webpage.

What is the cost of obtain a Technology/Product Approval?

Application fee of €2,500 is charged by RecyClass. In addition, the accredited labs individually set a price for testing in question. RecyClass Members are offered certain discounts on the prices.

Can I choose the lab at which the tests will be performed?

Applicants can choose amongst the labs accredited by RecyClass, in accordance with the type of packaging that is to be tested. Please be aware, that not all the accredited labs are able to evaluate all types of packaging. Labs will provide the applicants with a quote for the given sample testing. RecyClass members benefit from a discounted quote.

How many samples would I have to provide for testing?

The quantity of samples that must be provided to the lab depends on the type of your packaging and is specified in the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocols :

  • For flexible packaging: at least 10 kg of innovation material (as packaging) and 20 kg of control material (as packaging).
  • For rigid packaging: at least 10 kg of innovation material (as packaging) and 25 kg of control material (as packaging).

These figures are the minimum quantities recommended by RecyClass. The lab will communicate the necessary amount in order to carry out the tests.

What kind of additional tests and costs can be incurred during the approval process?

In case of a Product Approval, you can be asked to additionally perform a sorting test with the RecyClass Sorting Protocol. This step is necessary if your packaging is designed at least with one of the features reported in the Recyclability Methodology – Sorting section.

In this case, additional costs will be incurred, of which the Technical Committee will inform the application before starting the testing process.

What benefits do I have as a RecyClass member for the approval process?

RecyClass members benefit from a special quotation in the accredited labs that perform the Recyclability Protocol.

In addition, Platinum membership covers the cost of one application fee (€2.500) per year.

How should I proceed for the testing of PET packaging?

PET bottle testing falls under the scope of the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP). EPBP has established several test procedures to assess the influence of PET bottle innovations - such as barrier materials, resin formulations, additives, and non-PET components in or on PET bottles - on r-PET recycling processes. Please refer to EPBP website to learn more about the PET bottles Recyclability Protocols.
Evaluation protocols for PET trays are currently under development by PETCORE Europe.

What is the difference between a Product Approval and Recyclability Certifications?

A product approval evaluates an innovative packaging, containing characteristics not covered yet in RecyClass Design for Recycling guidelines. This kind of approval leads to lab testing, as described above, and to an official recognition by RecyClass (approval letter).

If all the characteristics of your packaging are already covered by the guidelines, you are eligible for the Recyclability Certification. This certification allows you to label your packaging with the logo of the corresponding final ranking (from A to F) and to communicate about your product’s recyclability, in accordance with the set guidance.

What is the difference between Design-for-Recycling and Recyclability Rate assessments?

Design for Recycling assessment is a qualitive assessment of all features of your final packaging. As a result, your packaging will receive a class ranking from A to F. Upon the completed Certification, RecyClass will provide you with a logo, corresponding letter and a guidance document on the use of logos and claims in your communications. The issued certificate is valid for 3 years for the European market.

Recyclability Rate assessment is a quantitative assessment of a plastic packaging. This is a country-specific evaluation, given that in each country the collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures vary. As a result, your packaging will be given a rate (%) of its recyclable content. Additionally, you will also receive a logo with the corresponding class ranking (A-F) and a guidance document on how to use the logo and how to claim recyclability. The certificate is valid for 3 years for the specific geographical area for which the Certification was acquired.

Get certified

How can I assess the recyclability of semi-finished packaging?

The recyclability of semi-finished packaging can be also evalauted by the Certification Bodies. In this case a Letter of Compatibility will be delivered, instead of a certificate. Any further alteration of the design such as print, used materials and/or the effect of product-content or residue, might indeed change the outcome of the assessment of the final packaging. Therefore, only final packaging are eligible for the certification. 

The audit for semi-finished packaging follows the same steps as the Design-for-Recycling certification and asseses that the semi-finished product is compatible with readily available sorting & recycling technologies commonly used at industrial scale in the recycling sector in Europe.

At this stage, the use of the RecyClass logo is prohibited. The use of any claims on the recyclability of the semi-finished product are not supported by RecyClass. To use the logo and/or to have RecyClass endorsement, you must submit the final packaging for certification. Indeed, it is the final packaging (including its decorative elements and product-residue) that will enter the recycling system.

Practical details of the audit for semi-finished packaging (costs, samples to provide, members benefits etc.) are similar to certifications. Please refer to the questions and answers below. 

How can I obtain one of the Recyclability Certificates?

The Certification process is explained on the RecyClass website, detailing step by step how to certify the recyclability of your packaging. 

How to become certified?

Following the completion of the assessment by the auditor, you will receive a detailed certificate report and a final certificate.

What is the cost of obtaining a Recyclability Certification?

An application fee of €150 is charged by RecyClass. Specific audit cost is set individually by the different Certification Bodies and may represent around 800 euros.

How can I choose my Certification Body?

In case of the design for recycling assessment, you are free to choose the auditor amongst the list of accredited Certification Bodies.

In case of the recyclability rate assessment, as it is a local assessment, you must choose the auditor according to the country (or countries) of interest. Each Certification Body is accredited for one or several countries.

How many samples would I have to provide for the recyclability certification?

At least 10 samples must be sent to the auditor. Please note that additional samples can be requested if needed. The auditor will guide you on this step.

What kind of additional tests and costs can be incurred during the audit?

Additional tests can be requested by the auditor. Specifically, a sorting test is requested if your packaging possesses at least one of features reported in the Recyclability Methodology – Sorting section.

A washing test can be requested to verify that the adhesive and the label are easily removable from the packaging and/or to verify that printing inks do not bleed.

If  any additional tests are required to perform the certification, the auditor must always inform the applicant first.

What benefits do I have as a RecyClass member for the recyclability certification?

A given number of Certification application fees (150 euro each) is covered by the RecyClass membership. If you are a Bronze member, 1 fee per year is included; if you are a Gold member, 3 fees per year are included; if you are a Platinum member, 5 fees per year are included. The cost of the Certification itself is decided by the individual Certification Bodies.

Will I receive a (RecyClass/recyclability) logo regardless of the result of the Certification?

Yes, in any case you will receive the RecyClass logo reporting the recyclability class achieved by the packaging (from A to F), the associated certificate and the audit report.

How can I use the (RecyClass/recyclability) logo and what can I claim after being certified?

RecyClass will provide you with the guide 'Use of Claims Document' on how to use the logo (size, format, colour, frame, etc.) in accordance with your communication channel (social media publication, packaging impression, etc.). Included within this document is a list of authorized claims to support you on correctly reporting your Certification publicly.

Use of Claims

Recycled Content Assessment

What is the process of obtaining a Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification?

The Certification process is explained on the RecyClass website, detailing step by step how to certify the traceability of recycled plastics within a process or operation and the share of recycled content present in the output products. 

HOW TO BECOME CERTIFIED?

Following the completion of the assessment by the Certification Body, you will receive a detailed audit report and a final certificate.

What is the difference between EuCertPlast Certification and RecyClass Plastics Traceability Certification?

EuCertPlast Certification is destined to plastic recycling processes where waste is recycled into a product (pellets, flakes or agglomerates), whereas the Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification is destined to other actors of the value chain incorporating recycled plastics in products (compounders, converters, brand owners). 

The Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification assesses the origin of the waste, its traceability and its incorporation in new plastic products.

Scope of the Recycled Plastics Traceabilility Certification

What is the cost of obtaining a Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification?

Specific audit cost is set individually by the different Certification Bodies. An application fee of €150 is charged by RecyClass. The fee will be handled by the Certification Bodies directly. RecyClass members may count with a discount on the application fee, more details can be found in the RecyClass Brochure.

RecyClass Brochure

 

How can I choose my Certification Body?

The list of recognized Certification Body for the Recycled Plastics Traceability Certification is available on the following webpage. You are free to choose the auditor amongst the list.

List of CBs

What benefits do I have as a RecyClass member for the recycled plastics certification?

A given number of Certification application fees (150 euro each) is covered by the RecyClass membership. If you are a Bronze member, 1 fee per year is included; if you are a Gold member, 3 fees per year are included; if you are a Platinum member, 5 fees per year are included. The cost of the Certification itself is decided by the individual Certification Bodies.

How can I use the (RecyClass/recycled content) logo and what can I claim after being certified?

RecyClass will provide you with the guide 'Use of Claims Document' on how to use the logo (size, format, colour, frame, etc.) in accordance with your communication channel (social media publication, packaging impression, etc.). Included within this document is a list of authorized claims to support you on correctly reporting your Certification publicly.

Use of Claims