Recyclability assessments

Showing that your packaging is recyclable is one way to meet the requirements set by the European Union in its circular economy action plan for 2030. Yet the industry has to comply with a previous deadline marked on the calendar: 2025, when over 65% of all packaging must be recycled.

The criteria set forth in the UNE-EN 13430:2004 standard must be applied to demonstrate that packaging is recyclable. This requires tests and technical studies to be able to state – by means of self-declared environmental claims – that the packaging is actually recyclable. ITENE can help you with this process.

We can also support your business with other services such as recyclability calculators, recycled material content and material re-processability tests, eco-label assessment and legislation watch. We can also assess the recyclability of reusable packaging in line with the UNE-EN 13429 standard.

Evaluación de reciclabilidad de envases
envases de distintos materiales

How can you demonstrate that your packaging is recyclable?

1. Assessment of the five requirements according to the UNE-EN 13430:2004 standard

The UNE-EN 13430 standard criteria, and especially those related to design, production, use, collection/sorting and recycling, must be taken into account to assess packaging recyclability.

This task can be complemented with experimental tests based on the ATICELCA method (for processability and paper quality), INGEDE (for deinkability) and with processability tests for plastics. The entire process can be conducted in our recycling laboratory.

  • You must be able to demonstrate that the packaging is made up of materials that can subsequently be recycled.

    • Single-component packaging usually meets this requirement.
    • Multilayer packaging composed of various materials fails to meet the requirement because it is more difficult to process with the technologies available in industrial environments.

    Click here to discover the recycling technologies that we are developing at ITENE . 

  • You must be able to demonstrate that no substances used to manufacture the packaging could subsequently hinder the recycling process.

    • Raw materials and composition. The production operations associated with the manufacture of raw materials, processing them and filling the packaging must be compatible with the subsequent recycling process.
    • Monitoring and changes during processing. Materials selected in the design phase that do not pose recycling problems must not be changed if the modification affects recyclability.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that the filling, marketing and use phases of the product do not pose a problem for subsequent packaging recycling.

    • Emptying by the end user. The design of the packaging must allow for emptying by the end user by commonly used methods. Click here to discover what we are doing to facilitate emptying packaging (link to inks, adhesives and functional coatings).
    • Classification of end users. When the packaging is made of more than one material, its design must ensure that they can be separated in order to be compatible with the recycling process.
    • You must be able to demonstrate that there is a suitable collection system that enables subsequent processing of the packaging.
    • The capacity of the recycling plants to separate the different packaging materials and sort them into different streams must be analysed since this is a fundamental requirement for the subsequent recycling process.

    Click here to discover the solutions we provide to improve your collection, transport and sorting systems (with a link to collection and separation of packaging waste).

  • You must be able to demonstrate that the technologies available at industrial level enable processing and therefore recycling of the packaging under study to obtain new products.

2. Recyclability testing tools

  • We assess the criteria set forth in the EN 13430 – ISO 18604 recyclability standard.

    The critical points for recyclability are analysed including any improvement movements or actions that could enhance the packaging’s recyclability.

  • This tool is fully customisable to the circumstances of each company:

    • One or more types of packaging material plus any inks and adhesives can be included in the calculations.
    • Questions to assess other key criteria for assessing final recyclability (the presence of certain substances, compliance with standards, etc.) are included as required.
    • The final result is presented in colorimetric scale with the final recyclability percentage. This information is only displayed when the result is “Recyclable”.

3. Recyclability standard report

ITENE draws up a technical document analysing the compliance of the packaging family in question with the standard requirements to demonstrate that it can be recycled.

4. Recyclability declaration

ITENE issues a declaration that demonstrates compliance with the standard, based on the recyclability standard  report.

5. Marking on packaging: How can I communicate the fact that my packaging is recyclable?

You must take the following aspects into account if you want to communicate that your packaging is recyclable:

  • The UNE-EN 13430 standard on requirements for packaging recoverable by material recycling is not certifiable.
  • The logos or labels used to communicate the recyclability of a container are self-declared environmental claims (type II eco-labels) and are based on the ISO 14021 standard.
  • Self-declared claims must be truthful and not misleading.

Results and benefits

Envases y embalajes de plastico y carton

What results will I obtain?

  • A recyclability assessment report and a declaration of recyclability of the packaging under analysis.
  • The recyclability percentage of the packaging in question.

What are the benefits of a recyclability declaration?

A recyclability declaration enables you to:

  • Demonstrate the recyclability of your packaging to customers.
  • Design the most appropriate communication strategies for customers in terms of sustainability.
  • Enhance your corporate social responsibility and green marketing image.
sostenibilidad de materiales de envase

We can also support other sustainability strategies for your business through the following services:

  • We provide you with a simple recyclability tool for the selected packaging based on the main recyclability standards, which comes with an instructions manual. You can use it to:

    • Ascertain the recyclability percentage of the packaging in question.
    • Design the most appropriate communication strategies for customers in terms of sustainability.
    • Enhance your corporate social responsibility and green marketing image.
  • We help you to demonstrate the percentage of recycled plastic used in the selected packaging and provide you with a detailed report on the traceability of the recycled content based on the criteria of the traceability and evaluation standards, and a self-declared environmental claim of the recycled content of the packaging under study.

    The following standards are used:

    • The UNE-EN 15343 standard on plastics recycling traceability and assessment of conformity and recycled content.
    • The UNE-EN 15347 standard on the characterisation of plastic waste.
  • We analyse the sustainability of packaging on the basis of recyclability, reuse and compostability criteria. We provide you with a sustainability sheet for each packaging family and suggest a series of improvement proposals.

    • Learn about the sustainability of the packaging under study.
    • Identify improvement areas in packaging sustainability.
  • We determine the mechanical processability of materials and packaging in accordance with standard mechanical recycling processes. We provide you with a packaging processability declaration that will enable you to:

    • Identify the most appropriate communication strategies for customers in terms of sustainability.
    • Enhance your corporate social responsibility and green marketing image.
  • We assess the conformity of an eco-label or a self-declared environmental claim in accordance with the ISO 14021 standard criteria on requirements for self-declared environmental claims (type II eco-labels). This can be used to:

    • Check that the eco-label or self-declared environmental claim conforms to the criteria of the aforesaid standard.
    • Demonstrate the packaging’s sustainability by eco-labelling.
  • We identify and summarise changes in the sustainability legislation applicable to the packaging under study and provide regular updates of all new regulations published at regional, national, European and international level.

  • We assess the degree of reusability of reusable packaging and packaging families in accordance with the UNE-EN 13429 packaging-reuse standard and provide you with a detailed report on the reusability of the packaging under study and a declaration of reusability.

  • How can I help you?

    César Aliaga

    Head of Packaging and Circular Economy Unit

    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.