Our Approach

Our Approach

Many of the issues raised by plastics are not caused by the properties of the plastics themselves but by the way we design and use them. Plastic is seen as disposable and part of our ‘throw away’ culture. Plastic products and packaging materials tend to be designed around cost, convenience and appearance without consideration of end‐of‐life options. Even when issues such as biodegradability, recyclability and other options are considered, decisions are often made for functional and marketing reasons without a solid evidence‐base for their overall impact on the environment or health. 

6Rs guide our ideas and innovations for rethinking plastics (Rethink, Refuse, Replace, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Rethinking and redesigning plastics we will do   Life Cycle Analysis using  software based LCA tools to  better account for the environmental and social costs of plastics and not just the cost of putting a product on the market.

We will create and enable consistency in design, use and disposal. There is no silver bullet to fix  plastics problem. New materials and new machines, new recycling techniques, new uses for recycled materials, new business models, and perhaps most importantly, citizens who are ready to form a new relationship with plastics are all needed to shift to a more sustainable use of plastics.

Rethinking and redesigning plastics requires a whole‐of‐life accounting approach to better account for the environmental  and social costs of plastic and not just the cost of putting a product on the market. Product stewardship schemes are one  way to begin this.


There are many different new ideas and innovations that will all play an important role in rethinking plastics. There is no single solution,  and  creating  a  more  sustainable  future  will  require  an  environment  that  supports ongoing innovation and scaling- up of good ideas. It is important that we don’t rush into implementing solutions without first testing their safety and effectiveness. New ideas or systems can be first implemented in communities or regions, assessed, tweaked, and  scaled‐up if successful. The safety of new materials or products made from recycled  content also need to be stringently tested before being used to ensure that we are not creating further environmental  or health risks with them. It is important to be wary of unintended consequences.


Rethink –  Design for Sustainability

In ensuring the circular transition for plastics and plastic packaging, design for recycling is among the key aspects. Compatibility of materials, easy separation and the use of additives, among other features, play a role in determining the recyclability of a given product.

Making recyclability one of the requirements and incorporating it with other performance criteria such as product safety, shelf life or branding would safeguard a sustainable use of resources.

Definition of Recyclability

A global definition of “recyclability” of plastics packaging and products is an integral step to harmonize the worldwide plastics recycling industry. This definition was developed by The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) and Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) in 2018. It has received the support of Petcore Europe.

Plastics must meet four conditions for a product to be considered recyclable:

  1. The product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated program.
  2. The product must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes.
  3. The product can be processed and reclaimed/recycled with commercial recycling processes.
  4. The recycled plastic becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products.

This definition does not intend to restrict innovation. For innovative materials to be recyclable, it shall be demonstrated that they can be collected and sorted in sufficient quantities and are compatible with existing industrial recycling processes or have sufficient material quantities to justify operating new recycling processes.

Nonetheless, fulfilling these four categories does not automatically designate a product recyclable. Recycled material is available in many different quality grades which depend among others on the quality of the input material to the process. Recyclability will however depend on the specific design of each packaging that will have to be evaluated by the RecyClass tool.



RecyClass Certification 


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

  • Design-for-Recycling Certification
  • Recyclability Rate Certification

The first one assesses a packaging qualitatively based on the online, self-assessment RecyClass Tool which at the end of the evaluation provides a class ranking from A to F to indicate its recyclability. The latter relies on a quantitative verification of recyclability of a packaging using a specific formula developed by RecyClass in line with the highest European standards. Both methodologies are based on the data compiled under the Design for Recycling Guidelines and the Recyclability Protocols results.


One of the simplest ways to lower the amount of plastic in the environment is to not use it in the first place. Refusing certain types of plastic would also help to support infrastructure by     funneling economies of scale, which will benefit collection, sorting, processing and reuse, and recycling options.

Reducing the overall size, weight and number of materials incorporated into a design is a simple way of keeping down the environmental impact. As a general rule, more materials result in greater impacts, so it’s important to use fewer types of materials and reduce the overall weight of the ones that you do use without compromising on the quality of the product.

You don’t want to dematerialize to the point where the life of the product is reduced or the value is perceived as being less; you want to find the balance between functional service delivery, longevity, value and optimal material use.

There has been a significant amount of innovation for reuse systems in recent years. EMF published a detailed report on  reusable packaging, highlighting four reuse system models for business to consumer packaging: the user refills at home,  refills on  the go, or returns  the packaging  from home or on  the go.

Longevity is about creating products that are aesthetically timeless, highly durable and will retain their value over time so people can resell them or pass them on. Products that last longer aren’t replaced as frequently and can be repaired or upgraded during their life as long as their style and functionality have durability as well.

Ensure that the materials you select enable a long life, and be sure to consider multiple use case scenarios such as repair options and resale encouragement.

Recycling is  not  the  only  solution  to  our  plastic  problem,  but  it  does  have  an  important  place  in  rethinking  plastics.  Without high quality recycling streams  there  is  no  economic  viability  in  recycling  plastic  due  to  limited market pull. Without a functional recycling market, the current environmental issues we face related to plastic use and waste will be ongoing. Addressing issues related to the quality of plastic that enters and leaves the recycling stream will help to establish a more stable onshore recycling market, which in turn can reduce demand for virgin plastic and reduce plastic waste to landfill. With our recycling facilities inefficiencies of the current recycling system will be addressed using a value‐chain approach, with improvements made at all stages of the process, so that we can get the most out of the plastic materials used. This will include improving product design, better labelling and public education, improving and expanding collection systems, more  effective  sorting  methods,  investing  in  onshore  infrastructure  for  certain  types  of  plastic,  turning  to  chemical  recycling where needed in the future, and increasing the incorporation of recycled content in new products to get market  pull‐through.

The long‐term goal is to develop and use a suite of new materials that are bio‐based, biodegradable, sustainably produced and  able  to  fulfil  a  wide  range  roles  including  packaging  applications.  In the  short‐term,  there  are  priority  areas  for  innovation  to  replace  particularly  problematic  materials.  These include foils/laminates,  synthetic  fabrics  that  shed  micro fibres  and  difficult‐to recycle  plastics  used  in  packaging  (PVC,  PS  and  various  resins  that  fall  into  the  ‘other’ category).