Definition

Recycled content in plastic products is defined as plastic which has been prepared in a process from plastic waste for its original purpose or for another purpose. Recycled plastics may be reformulated with additives, fillers, masterbatches, virgin plastics, stabilizers or pigments to match the specification an end application. These will not be considered as recycled content.

Recycled plastics can have two main origins of material in line with ISO 14021 standard:

1 Pre-consumer material

Material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it.

2 Post-consumer material

Material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product which can no longer be used for its intended purpose. This
includes returns of material from the distribution chain.

In addition to the origin of the material, relevant information about recycled plastics include the following:

  • Source of the material: the sector where the waste was originated such as commercial, household, building & construction or automotive (etc.)
  • Type of product application: original application of the material before becoming a waste such as packaging – PET bottles, PVC frames or PP pipes (etc.)

 

More information on the origin and source of material can be found in the figure below.