Can you imagine parents awarding grades to their own children? With the exception of the most conscientious parents, the impression would be created that all our sons and daughters were achieving academic excellence. But it would merely be an impression, would it not? This is what often happens regarding the recyclability of packaging and the messages conveyed by some companies on the issue. Some enterprises speak of the recyclability of their packaging without any type of monitoring, or scientific or methodological basis to support their claims.
These days, being green sells and, thanks to increased environmental activism, interest intensifies. Unfortunately, consciously or otherwise, consumers are being provided with
biased information. This phenomenon was dubbed greenwashing many years ago and is one of the reasons why many no longer trust environmental messages.
The worst aspect of this is the negative effect on companies that do things correctly. When conveying information on their achievements and efforts, these companies find themselves on an equal footing with those who misinform. New European legislation will significantly change the rules governing packaging. The plastics strategy announced by the European Commission in 2018 seeks to apply new harmonised rules so that, by 2030, all packaging will be designed to be recycled or reused in accordance with the Circular Economy Package. But how are companies going to know whether their packaging is recyclable or not? And, moreover, how are they going to demonstrate that it is recyclable to consumers and competitors?
DríadeSM has developed the new Recyclability Certificate, a self-declaration through which packaging manufacturers (or packaging companies) can identify the percentage of
the packaging material available for quality recycling. The methodology, which has the external review and support of the UNESCO Chair in Lifecycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, guarantees independence, reliability, rigour and impartiality on the capacity of packaging material to be reincorporated into a quality production cycle.
In addition, obtaining the Certificate allows companies to include an eco-label on their packaging, indicating the results obtained in the certification process. The entire process of
granting the certificate and authorisation of the use of the Seal is also underwritten by SGS International Certification Services Ibérica, S.A.U.
It is vital to have the Recycling Certificate and Seal to enable consumers to exercise their right to responsible purchase, to know what they are really buying and, therefore, to encourage companies to put more sustainable packaging on the market. At the same time, it offers packaging companies very useful information on the weak points of their products and guides them on how to mitigate these weak points through ecodesign strategies.
Raquel Iglesias Iglesias
CEO at Dríade Soluciones Medioambientales
Prof. Dr. Pere Fullana i Palmer
Director UNESCO Chair in Lifecycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF
Published in: Nº66 FuturENVIRO December 2019 / January 2020