Recycled Material Certification
Trace the recycled content of your products from source to finish and support socially and environmentally friendly production.
Supply chain sustainability and transparency
supply chain of the recycled material from raw material to the finished product
What does RMC stand for?
PFI Hong Kong Ltd. (PFI HK) provide a sustainable material certification that verifies the usage of recycled material through a traceability documentation system. The aim of the certification is to increase the amount of recycled material in global supply chains.
A finished product labelled with the RMC logo carries the following assurances: It ensures that a majority of the product is made from recycled material. This means the recycled material must make up more than 50% of the finished product.
- It traces the supply chain of PET bottles, from their source to the point of sale of the final product.
- It verifies that facilities involved in the manufacturing of certified products comply with social and environmental standards.
Case Study: Crivit Ocean Bound Plastic Shoes
By qualifying for a Recycled Material Certification, PFI awards a tailor-made logo to Lidl verifying that their products are made from recycled content.
PFI’s project with Lidl started in 2019 and a first certified order of shoes was successfully certified and launched in July 2020. In only one order, Lidl creates a lasting impact. Near to 12,000,000 PET bottles were used for the “Ocean Feet” order – 3,960,000 of which came from ocean-bound areas.
Find out why such projects are highly important and get an insight into the supply chain of products from recycled PET bottles.
How to get the PFI Recycled Material Certification:
- Test your products
- Assess your suppliers
- Trace your supply chain
- Certify your products
- Communicate your achievements
- Application form: download and fill out the application for a certificate of conformity here.
- Product sample: once we receive your form, we’ll ask you to send a sample of your product.
- Test and application approval: after receiving the sample, PFI will test it in our
laboratory and verify that a majority of the product is made from recycled material. If this is the case, we will approve your application
- Pre-assessment: we send pre-assessment documents to your suppliers.
- On-site assessment: we arrange an on-site visit to verify the information provided.
- Supplier license approval: we review and assess the results and send a report both to you and to your supplier. If all the requirements are fulfilled, the supplier receives a PFI HK license valid for 1 year.
- Test and inspection: we conduct regular audits, quality inspections and product testing.
- Document approval: we check both supplier and buyer
transaction documents, delivery notes and purchase invoices.
- Data traceability tool: the chain of custody data are uploaded on our online tool, tracked and verified by PFI HK.
- Get the certificate: once all the documents are processed and approved, we issue a Recycled Material Certification for your product.
- Get unique certification numbers: you will receive a unique certification number for each certified product.
- Your products’ hang tag: each hangtag will show the Recycled Material Certification number. Download the PFI Recycled Material Certification Logo Brand and Usage Guidelines (available for download soon).
- Customer area: we have created a search page where final customers can input the certification number shown on the product hang tag and check the traceability of the material.
Step 1: Applicant fills in basic application form here
Step 2: PFI assesses whether product is within the scope of certification. In some cases, a sample product will be required.
Step 3: Applicant provides order and supply chain data.
Step 4: PFI conducts supply chain audit and issues supplier licences.
Step 5: PFI tests raw material in in-house laboratory.
Step 6: Order is traced throughout production.
Step 7: Transaction approvals are issued for purchase and sales of reclaimed material.
Step 8: Certificate of Conformity is issued and allows applicant to use the Recycled Material Certification (RMC) logo.
For the initial certification inquiry, the following information is required
- Contact details
- Product details (product type, material, if available technical drawing or image)
- Information on supply chain (facilities, location)
Once approved, further information is required for application:
- Order details (Bill of material, design drawings, styles, colours, quantities)
- Order timeline
- Detailed information on facilities involved in manufacturing of product
- Payment information
Once submitted, the initial application will be processed within one week. The second stage of application may take up to two weeks.
The PFI RMC certifies products made from textile material, such as garments, toys, footwear, outdoor equipment, travel equipment, furniture, home textiles, sports equipment. *This list is not comprehensive. PFI reserves the right to add and remove product categories as required.
The PFI RMC poses two requirements, one for the product, one for the material. A product can only be certified if more than 51% of the product is made out of the certifiable recycled material. The percentage will be assessed in PFI’s laboratory based on weight or area measurement. A certifiable material must be made from 100% recycled content to receive the PFI RMC certification. If the recycled content in the recycled material is between 25% and 100%, a PFI RMC Mix certification will be issued. This will be the case if e.g. a fiber producer mixes virgin material with recycled material. In case of fiber mix in a fabric, where the recycled material is mixed with non-recycled fibres, both materials must be certified (e.g. melange fabric). There are specific guidelines pertaining to the percentage of certifiable recycled material the final product. The product will be labelled with the RMC logo or the RMC Mix logo. The table below shows the boundary requirements for the recycled material content.
Recycled material as well as the finished product will be tested to ensure compliance with the customer’s RSL. If the product comes under European directives, PFI conducts the test accordingly to ensure compliance with those requirements. PFI provides in-house chemical and physical testing services in case the client wants to conduct any additional testing.
Each party involved in the trade or manufacturing of the certified product has to be certified.
Within the RMC, each facility has to hold a valid supplier license in order to manufacture products certified under RMC. Each supplier is required to meet environmental, social and traceability standards before a supplier licence can be issued. PFI recognises equivalent standards in order to reduce the cost of certification for facilities along the supply chain, to reduce assessment fatigue, and to acknowledge standards with shared principles. In order to be recognised as an equivalent standard and to reduce the scope of assessment, the factory must provide a valid certificate to the certification body. Recognised environmental standards include: ISO 14001, Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Oeko Tex Step, PFI Environmental Assessment Recognised social standards include: BSCI, WRAP, SA8000, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Oeko Tex Step, PFI Social Assessment
If all criteria are met, the assessment is valid for 1 year.
The audit fee is charged to the applicant of the certification.
From submitting factory data, it normally it takes between 3-4 weeks to arrange the on-site visit, issue the audit report and corrective action plan and the supplier license. In some cases, where minimum requirements are not met, a second visit might be necessary, which will extend the time needed to receive a supplier license.
PFI tracks the flow of material from origin of raw material up to the assembly and packaging of the finished product. This is necessary to ensure recycled material claims are matching throughout the supply chain. In order to do so, PFI requires facilities to submit a Transaction Document (download here) together with supporting documents of purchase and sales.
An in-house system will be set up by the facility manufacturing the certifiable material. If a chain of custody is also being certified, then each facility involved in manufacturing and assembling the product along the entire product supply chain will each have an inhouse system to track the certifiable material. This traceability will be checked by the certification body through transaction documents and supporting information (e.g. receipts) provided to the certification body by all relevant facilities.
For traceability PFI will send you documents that you need to fill in for each purchase and sale of recycled material. Please fill in a Transaction Document together with purchases and sales record and supporting documents and send it back to PFI, no later than one week after the transaction took place.
A Transaction Documents is required for every purchase or sale of claimed material/products. This might vary from a daily submission to one-off submission.
Ultimately, the applicant is responsible for providing information of its supply chain. The applicant can ask its suppliers to directly contact PFI and submit Transaction Documents.
Fees of transaction submission and verification are charged to the applicant. Please contact PFI for further details and pricing information.
The refusal to provide transaction documents and supporting data represents a breach of the certification requirements. If information is not provided within the time frame requested by the certification body, the certificate will be suspended.
In such cases, PFI reserves its right to handle each case individually and take appropriate actions. The consequences can reach from resubmission to termination of certification for this order.