Verifying Recycled Coastal Plastic

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What we did:

By qualifying for a Recycled Material Certification, PFI awards a tailor-made logo to Lidl verifying that their products are made from recycled content.

Why?

According to the New Plastics Economy, a global multi-stakeholder platform initiated by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, “each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute”.

The Foundation reports there are over 150 million tonnes of plastics in the ocean today, and “in a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight). There is an urgent need for effective after-use plastics economies to reduce the leakage of plastics into natural systems (in particular the ocean)”.

How?

In a research article providing solutions towards zero plastic pollution published by the Science magazine in July 2020, various available interventions are explored, including reducing plastic consumption, increasing rates of reuse, waste collection and recycling, expanding disposal systems, and innovation. While “reducing and substituting plastic materials had the highest impact, leading to a 59% reduction by 2040… collection and disposal reduced inputs by 57% by 2040, while the recycling scenario led to a 45% reduction.”

What is the solution?

With the newly developed Recycled Material Certification (RMC), PFI raises awareness for the urgent need for more recycling, and simultaneously presents viable alternative materials for our clients’ products. At PFI we support our clients to develop supply chains for recycled ocean-bound plastic materials to make a range of new products, from shoes and activewear, toys and much more.

Lorry arriving at CC
RMC Petcotex Collection center locations
Raw material
Pre-sorting at Collection Center
Pressing of bundles at Collection Center
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Case study: Crivit Ocean Bound Plastic Shoe for Lidl

PFI verifies that recycled PET bottles are used in the manufacturing of Lidl’s Crivit Ocean Bound Plastic shoes. Over a quarter of the PET bottles used in the upper material of the shoe originate from coastal regions in China. According to PFI’s RMC standard, coastal collection centers are located no more than 20km from a water body.

The aim of the certification is to prevent plastic from entering the ocean and to increase the amount of recycled material in global manufacturing processes.

Bundles arrive at Recycling Factory
Storage of bundles
Training room
Manual screnning
Bottle washing
Shredding
Shredded PET Flakes
Flake silo
Spinning
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Impact

PFI’s project with Lidl started in 2019 and a first certified shoe collection was successfully certified and launched in July 2020 creating a lasting impact. Near to 12,000,000 PET bottles were used for the Ocean Bound Plastic shoes – 3,960,000 of which came from ocean-bound areas.

What does the RMC stand for?

RECYCLE

Reduce maritime plastic pollution

TRACE

Accurately trace recycled material from the source to the finished product

EMPOWER

Foster social environmentally friendly manufacturing

A finished product labelled with the Recycled Material Certification logo, carries the following assurances:

  • It ensures that a majority of the product, in volume or area, is made from recycled material.
  • It guarantees that the recycled material contains 25% of PET bottles from coastal areas.
  • It provides end-to-end traceability from post-consumer PET bottle up to the finished product.
  • It verifies that facilities involved in the manufacturing of certified products comply with social and environmental standards.
Upper knit
Finished Product
PFI certified hangtag
Finished product in shop
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For more information, please download the RMC standard here or contact us.

“The Recycled Material Certification Blue is the go-to certification to verify products are made from a percentage of ocean-bound plastic. The collectors and recyclers we work with collect plastic from coastal regions to intercept plastic going into the oceans. Through our on-site audits and a real-time traceability system, we verify retailers’ marketing claims.”

Sarah Obser, Former Head of Sustainability, PFI Hong Kong Ltd. Tweet

“By choosing the RMC certification system by PFI, we can prove to all our customers and also the end consumer that the bottles we collect from coastal areas are really in the final product. For us it was essential that we have a material flow certification because we want to ensure that we can keep what we promise to our customers. Furthermore, PFI made sure that along the entire supply chain of our material and the products, international social and environmental standards are kept. Only with this certification we can guarantee to the end user that our products help to protect the environment and the oceans!”

Dr. Manfred G. Hirning, Head of Compliance and Sustainability, Brington Group Tweet

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