Researchers in Germany have created a detailed document designed to boost trade in recycled plastic.
The country’s Institute for Standardisation (DIN) published DIN SPEC 91481 to set out requirements for classifying polyamide-based waste.
The technical paper is designed to make it easier for those processing plastic recyclate to trade the product.
“Plastic waste is everywhere,” said DIN in a statement. “It pollutes oceans, rivers and lakes; accumulates in soil, forests and even on glaciers; with catastrophic consequences for humans, animals and the environment.”
However, the body said reprocessed plastic was more expensive than virgin material “mainly due to a lack of standards for recyclates and the lack of digitalisation in the industry”.
Hamburg-based recycling technology firm Cirplus, one of 19 firms helping to develop the new standard, said it had groundbreaking characteristics.
“For the first time ever, it focuses on polyamide as a material; it covers both waste and recyclates; and it opens the door to significantly more digitalisation in the circular economy,” said Cirplus managing director Christian Schiller.
DIN SPEC 91481 contains a concept for a digital product passport for plastic recyclate and waste in a bid to create transparency and make the material traceable throughout its lifecycle.
Hans-Josef Endres, managing director of the Institute for Plastics and Recycling Economy, said: “With the new standard, we want to increase the acceptance of polyamide recyclate on the market. In the long term, it should pave the way for a paradigm shift. Further standardisation and the expansion of digital solutions will be crucial for a true plastics circular economy.”