Re-thinking plastic

Update on standardisation.

Latest update on the topic of standardisation.

With all the talking about need for standardisation I think it is not more than fair that we provide an update on the status on this topic.

The most interest is of course the Standardisation Request Plastics recycling and recycled plastics based on input from 5 sectors (Packaging, Agriculture, Automotive, Building & Construction and EEE) from Circular Plastics Alliance. It has been out on public consultation which was finished the 18 March. Now the last comments will be reviewed and the final document will be transmitted to the Committee on Standards’ for approval by the Members States. Once approved, they are officially transmitted to the European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) for acceptance and execution.

When the Standardisation request is accepted, the clock starts. All the listed deliverables, both revisions and new standards, shall be delivered within 36 months. This is extremely short time given the number of standards to be developed. In preparation to the launch date, all proposed standards have been communicated and taken on by Technical Committees within CEN and CENELEC, so all items have a home.

In the preparation there have been a lot of work putting everything into place, with bilateral meetings, communication and agreements between and within Technical Committees and even in a couple of cases, creation of new Working Groups. The Standardisation Request covers the whole value chain, from design of plastic products, via waste classification and characterisation of recyclates to demand driven standards to enable uptake in a broader spectrum of products than today. While waiting for the administrative process, we are mobilising our resources within CEN and CENELEC in order to execute the development of standards.

What we are doing in Europe have caught the attention from other parts of the world, and there will be communication both to ISO and other standardisation parties along the way.

When it come to packaging, we from CPA works closely with the European Commission team revising the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, in order to prevent overlaps or gaps between the output from CPA and the revised directive.
On top of that, we have on the global, i.e. ISO, arena a lot of activity regarding standardisation on chemical recycling. There is at least 3 proposed projects that is under discussion right now, and this will for sure pave the way for coming understanding and definitions within the area of chemical recycling.

Last, but actually first, in 2022 the standard (pr)EN 17615 Plastics - Environmental Aspects – Vocabulary will be published. This is the dictionary for the industry to apply in order to have a common understanding about terms and definitions within plastics and environmental aspects.

So, all of you out there. Engage in your countries National Standardisation Body in order to participate in the development of the standards that will form the future for the plastic industry.


Blog by Kristin Geidenmark Olofsson

About the Author

Kristin Geidenmark Olofsson

Director Regulatory Affairs & Strategic Innovation, Chair ISO/TC61/SC14/WG 5 Mechanical & Chemical Recycling.

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