New quality label for packaging made of recycled plastic

Many consumers are uncertain – does it really help to separate the garbage and throw plastic into the yellow sack, or does everything end up being incinerated after all? The new “RAL” quality label is intended to assure consumers that the packaging is made of recycled plastics.

The new “RAL” quality label “%-Recycling-Kunststoff” (% recycled plastic) indicates the percentage of recycled plastic materials from the Yellow Sack or Yellow Bin in consumer goods packaging. The recycling of commercial and industrial waste is expressly not included in the percentages in order to create targeted incentives for the reuse of plastic materials from household waste.

The quality label is intended to give consumers the assurance that they are purchasing a product that actually conserves resources and to strengthen the acceptance of recycled products. “The quality label makes the use of plastic recyclates transparent and thus strengthens the understanding of continuous waste separation as the basis for a genuine recycling economy,” says Dr. Ina-Maria Becker, Chairwoman of the Gütegemeinschaft Rezyklate aus haushaltsnaher Wertstoffsammlung (Quality Association for Recycled Materials from Household Collections). “The label makes it clear –  here packaging is brought back from the shelf to the shelf, the valuable plastic material remains in the cycle and is used again and again.

Many consumers feel uncertain – does it really help to separate the garbage and throw plastic into the yellow sack or does everything end up being incinerated after all? Do the companies really recycle effectively or is it more hype than substance? One of the founding members of the Quality Association is the Mainz-based detergent company Werner & Mertz, which has been campaigning for the high-quality processing and reuse of old plastic from the yellow sack since 2012 with the founding of the Recyclate Initiative. “The recycling or upcycling of old plastic from household collections is, in our opinion, the most effective approach to counteracting the littering of our planet with plastic waste. If plastic is kept in circulation, it is a very sustainable resource. The quality label enables the consumer to see at a glance what high-grade packaging has been created from the yellow sack material,” says Alexander Schau, packaging developer at Werner & Mertz. In addition to Werner & Mertz, many other cooperation partners of the Recyclate Initiative are also members of the Quality Association, for example The Green Dot and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) as an honorary member.

In the consumer good industry, the requirements are diverse and expectations are high. FachPack is the place that brings together buyers and vendors on a level playing field. More information can be found here.
“When recycling plastic waste from the yellow bin and the recycling bin, there is still a lot of scope for improvement, because manufacturers often still reject the recyclates from these wastes. But with the RAL Quality Label companies such as Werner & Mertz show that high-quality packaging and products can be created again from,recyclates from household collections” says NABU Federal Managing Director Leif Miller. “The new label strengthens the recycling of plastics and shows consumers that it is worthwhile to separate waste and thus make an active contribution to environmental protection and resource conservation”.
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