Industry trade association European Recyclers Europe (EuPR) outlined its plans for a standard plastics recycling label at EuPC's annual meeting, which took place in Bruges, Belgium, last week.
Speaking at the event, EuPR board member Paulo Glerean said designers are currently not paying enough attention to a product's recyclability at end-of-life. Indeed, most designers do not make recyclability a priority in their design criteria and are encouraged to use resins from big chemical companies, not all of which are recyclable.
"This is not a way of banning or segregating any types of plastics," he said. "We just want to first of all improve the quality of plastic packaging."
A recyclability label would encourage designers to improve recyclability and establish a common standard, as well as allow customers to choose products according to how environmentally friendly they are, says the organization.
EuPR says a label would also help Europe achieve its target of recycling 50 percent of plastic waste by 2020.
Some conference attendees questioned how effective a label would be in reality, pointing out that some products — for example chocolate pralines — need multilayer packaging, which is not easy to recycle.
However, Glerean said a label would challenge packaging manufacturers to develop materials that can be recycled.