Methodology

The Methodology was developed by all Members to define a clear and reliable way of assessing plastic packaging recyclability. As recyclability cannot be considered binary, a 6-levels scale from class A to F representing the complexity of packaging has been developed.

The classes are defined as follows:

  • CLASS A: The packaging does not pose any recyclability issues and the recycled plastics can potentially feed a closed-loop scheme to be used in the same quality application.
  • CLASS B: The packaging has some minor recyclability issues that slightly affect the quality of the recycled plastic generated. However, the majority of recycled plastics from this packaging can still potentially feed a closed loop.
  • CLASS C: The packaging presents some recyclability issues that affect the quality of the recycled plastics or lead to material losses during recycling. In the first case, the recycled plastic could be used in a cascade open-loop scheme, whereas in the latter case the plastic could potentially feed a closed-loop scheme.
  • CLASS D: The packaging has significant design issues that highly affect its recyclability or imply large material losses. In both cases, the recycled plastic can only be fed into low-value applications (i.e., the packaging will be downcycled).
  • CLASS E: The packaging has major design issues that jeopardize its recyclability or imply severe material losses. The packaging is not considered recyclable and can only be used in incineration with energy recovery
  • CLASS F: The package is not recyclable at all, either because of fundamental design issues or a lack of specific infrastructure for collection, sorting, and recycling in EU28+2.

A, B & C
CLASSES

According to the recyclability definition and the RecyClass Methodology classes A, B and C are considered recyclable, as the quality of the recyclate is good enough to be used in closed-loop or cascade open-loop applications.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The Methodology provides comprehensive information on the assessment methods used to assess and certify the recyclability of a plastic package. The methods described are:

  • Design-for-Recycling Certification:
    Assesses the technical feasibility of packaging to be correctly sorted and recycled into closed-loop or cascade loop applications. The evaluation provides a class ranking from A to F to indicate its recyclabilit
  • Recyclability Rate Certification:
    Relies on a quantitative verification of recyclability of packaging using a specific formula developed by RecyClass in line with the highest European standards.