Cologne. The environmental services provider Interseroh and the bifa environmental institute, one of Germany's leading applied research, development and consultancy institutions, welcome the new legally binding minimum standard for measuring the recycling capability of packaging in accordance with section 21 of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). The new standard, a practical tool to help ensure compliance with requirements, was published yesterday (Tuesday) by the Central Agency Packaging Register (CAPR).
"The Central Agency minimum standard is an extremely useful standardised framework for systems and distributors", says Dr. Siegfried Kreibe, Deputy Director of bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH. "We welcome the changes to the minimum standard, which take account of new developments and findings. We also update the methodology we developed for Interseroh on an ongoing basis in the light of the current minimum standard."
"The objective of a circular economy that protects the climate and resources can only be achieved if we work together – and the new minimum standard is a key point of reference here for packaging manufacturers", believes Markus Müller-Drexel, Managing Director of INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH. "Establishing a recycling fund under public law at the Central Agency, something that is currently under discussion, could also offer useful incentives for the increased use of recycled raw materials. With our 'Made for Recycling' service, we are actively supporting the necessary steps towards a circular economy and helping with both current and future compliance with legal requirements."
Section 21 VerpackG states that dual systems must offer benefits for customers who use recyclable packaging. Companies can find out just how well a packaging product can be recycled simply and easily using the scientific "Made for Recycling" valuation method developed by Interseroh and bifa. "Made for Recycling" not only ensures companies' compliance with VerpackG requirements, it also improves their image with environmentally conscious consumers.
About the “Made for Recycling” valuation method:
To assess the recycling capability of packaging, bifa and Interseroh have developed a three-stage points system. In the first stage, it is determined whether the consumer can assign the packaging to the right collection system without any problems. In the second stage, a verification takes place as to how the packaging performs during the sorting. Are the currently available sorting technologies able to sort the packaging into the right material fraction – or do certain materials prevent a clear allocation? In the third stage, an evaluation takes place as to whether the packaging is suitable for material recycling, or whether labels, colours or barriers make the recycling process more difficult. Packaging barriers are usually used to protect the product from exterior influences and to guarantee the product attributes. They serve the purpose of providing protection against UV or oxygen infiltration, for example.
The greater the number of points the packaging achieves on a scale of 0 to 20, the more easily and better it can be recycled. The “Made for Recycling” service also fulfils the requirements of the minimum standard for measuring the recycling capability of packaging of the Central Agency Packaging Register (CAPR). The methodology was reviewed by experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV.
About the bifa environmental institute
bifa is one of the leading applied research, development and consultancy institutions in Germany and has implemented more than 1500 projects. bifa provides a wide range of custom environmental research and other services relating to material flows, energy flows and process engineering.
Further information about bifa is available at www.bifa.de.