Politicians and consumers have long been demanding environmentally friendly packaging solutions to reduce the amount of plastic waste. Companies that have been awarded the RAL Quality Mark for Recyclable PET Beverage Packaging support this goal by using recycled PET material in the production of new PET beverage packaging and by striving to steadily increase this share. The criteria for the award of the RAL Quality Seal – the quality and testing regulations – cover the process steps in the chain of recyclable materials from the production of the recycled material to the production of new beverage packaging and filling.
The award criteria have now been extended to the production of PET flakes, the cleaned and shredded material of used PET bottles, and adapted to the current state of the art. In addition, PET flakes manufacturers, the suppliers for granulate production, can now also receive the RAL quality mark. Also new: The RAL quality mark also indicates the recycled content in the bottles.
The Gütegemeinschaft Wertstoffkette PET-Getränkeverpackungen, which brings together the users of the quality mark, includes representatives from the entire recycling chain: PET recyclers who produce recyclates for food contact, manufacturers of preforms, the cast preforms of PET bottles, up to beverage producers and bottlers of mineral water and soft drinks. One criterion for the award of the RAL quality mark is the use of at least 25 per cent recycled PET material in the production of new PET beverage packaging. According to a study by the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (Society for Packaging Market Research), an average of 26 per cent of PET recyclate has been used in German disposable PET bottles to date. The RAL Quality Assurance Association has set itself the goal of achieving an average recycled content of 50 per cent by 2022. In this way the companies want to make a positive contribution to environmental and climate protection and to the protection of natural resources such as water and oil. The verified indication of the recycled content in their products should also be seen against the background of the upcoming EU legislation (Single-Use-Plastics-Directive).
The criteria for the award of the RAL Quality Seal for Recyclable PET Beverage Packaging specify detailed requirements for each stage of the recyclable material chain. The companies undertake to continuously monitor compliance with the quality and test regulations and to document this. In addition, the quality mark users are subject to regular external monitoring by neutral inspectors. This is intended to ensure that high quality standards are maintained at all stages of the process.