Recycled Material Certification (RMC) Now Extended to All Recycled Plastics

Certified materials now extend to polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA), and other recyclable plastics, in addition to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) materials.

As of January 1, 2024, the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfalts¬-pflichtengesetz, LkSG) came into effect impacting companies with 1000+ employees. The LkSG regulates the responsibilities of companies in the global supply chain, including environmental protection and adherence to human rights.

In response to mounting sustainability concerns and standards requirements, PFI’s Recycled Material Certification (RMC) is on hand to enable businesses to pursue and achieve  their sustainability goals through practical and cost-effective solutions.

RMC rightly certifies recycled materials in products and verifies social and environmental compliance across the supply chain.  As part of the requirements for RMC, Recycled material should make up at least 5% of the total material content in a specific product.

Lately PFI significantly upgraded its RMC certification, with key highlights as follows:

  • Certified materials now extend to polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA), and other recyclable plastics, in addition to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) materials.
  • Certified product types cover clothing, footwear, bags, automotive decorations, home textiles, furniture, kitchenware, and toys.
  • Relevant tests for certified materials have been updated to meet the latest regulatory requirements.

Polyethylene (PE) is one of the most popular thermoplastic materials, whose  recycling process as follows:

1. PE Recycling Process

Currently, the recycling of polyethylene are mainly based on physical and chemical methods:

Physical methods include heat pressing, hot water washing, grinding and others, but these methods are often downplayed due to its low efficiency, poor quality, and difficulty in recycling mixtures.

Chemical methods transform waste plastics into low-molecular-weight compounds through chemical reactions, followed by processes like cracking and dehydrogenation to produce new plastics.

For example, using iridium complexes and iron oxide composite catalysts can selectively convert polyethylene into liquid alkanes. The technology has high recycling efficiency, good quality, and the ability to recycle mixtures, but it is still in its research and development stage and has yet to be normalized.

2. Prospects for Recyclable PE

The use of recycled PE in pipelines, widely thought to be beneficial to the environment, is also deemed fit for various purposes:

Urban infrastructure construction: Recycled PE pipeline materials can replace traditional materials in urban water supply and drainage systems, contributing to the sustainability of urban infrastructure.

Agricultural irrigation systems: The significant demand for pipelines in agriculture can be met with the use of recycled PE pipeline materials, helping to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activities.

3. RMC Certification Process for Recyclable PE

Step 1: Application

Step 2: Product evaluation and recyclable material testing

Step 3: Use of RMC logo and QR code

Step 4: Product inspection

Step 5: Transaction verification and issuance of transaction approval

Step 6: Issuance of approval certificate

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