First certificate from RecycleMe and TÜV SÜD for packaging of Plukon

Munich, Visbek, Herborn, 18 January 2022 – With testing and certification according to the new TÜV SÜD standard “Recyclability of packaging”, TÜV SÜD and RecycleMe GmbH are supporting manufacturers, bottlers, importers, online retailers, retail chains and other suppliers on their way to better sustainability. The independent testing and certification takes into account all relevant standards and norms and ensures the highest degree of result validity and credibility. Now, for the first time, the certification has been awarded to Plukon, one of Europe’s largest suppliers of fresh chicken meat and poultry convenience products.

Plukon was the first company to complete the innovative and demanding testing and certification process. The overall packaging “Folding carton (192*155*55mm) with inliner” achieved the highest rating level with excellent recyclability (class 1, 95–100% [DE, AT], excellent recyclability). “We welcome the new TÜV SÜD standard and are very pleased that we are among the pioneers in this field,” says Ulrike Rücker, spokeswoman for the Plukon Group in Germany, about the successful completion of the testing and certification process.

Innovative analysis takes into account practical recyclability

Through the joint and, above all, independent certification, the cooperation partners TÜV SÜD and RecycleMe combine digital analysis methods with established audit processes. Exact material testing, the inclusion of all relevant standards and norms as well as the use of digital technology enable a more comprehensive analysis for maximum reliability and transparency.

“Testing and certification according to the new TÜV SÜD standard takes into account regional collection and recycling structures as well as the sorting capability of packaging,” explains Dr. Robert Hermann, Head of the Green Energy & Sustainability Business Unit at TÜV SÜD in Austria, who initiated the new testing and certification procedure with his team in partnership with RecycleMe. “With this holistic practical focus, the concrete potential of the recyclability of packaging is shown objectively and transparently.” According to Dr. Hermann, real improvements only arise when recyclable materials can be reintegrated into the economic cycle not only theoretically, but also practically.

State-of-the-art digital technology

A core element of the TÜV SÜD standard “Recyclability of packaging” is the creation of a “digital twin” of the packaging by the experts from RecycleMe. Based on documentation of materials, weights and dimensions, a digital analysis of the respective packaging is carried out, considering all relevant influencing factors for the evaluation of recyclability. A major advantage of digital technology is that optimization and solution potentials with regard to the recyclability of packaging can already be demonstrated during the evaluation.

“With our method, we offer companies a transparent and holistic analysis and evaluation of their packaging. In addition, we can also show where packaging has potential for optimization and provide the necessary recommendations for action,” explains Sabrina Goebel, Managing Director of RecycleMe GmbH. “The cooperation with the independent, neutral institution TÜV SÜD ultimately enables a unique certification according to the highest standard, which makes a good performance in terms of recyclability also recognizable for consumers.”

Reliable data for further improvements

Uniform standards and norms enable an objective and transparent measurement of the recyclability of packaging as a basis for optimization. In addition to the TÜV SÜD standard “Recyclability of packaging”, the independent testing and certification process at Plukon also included conformity with the standards “Minimum standard for the assessment of the recyclability of packaging subject to system participation, status (31.08.2021)”, “DIN EN 13430; Packaging – Requirements for packaging for recycling” and “ISO 15270; Plastics – Guidelines for the recovery and recycling of plastics waste” reviewed and confirmed.

The testing and certification procedure according to TÜV SÜD standard “Recyclability of packaging” can be applied to packaging made of plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium, ferrous metals, wood and composites. Depending on the product, it usually takes between one and three months. After successful completion, the certificate is valid for three years.

Image: ©Plukon, ©TÜV SÜD, ©RecycleMe