A new ISO International Standard will assist the emerging
worldwide market for plastic recovery and recycling.
Because plastic products are traded internationally and many
of the plastic resin manufacturing companies and industrial
users are multinational companies, the arrival of ISO 15270:2008,
Plastics - Guidelines for the recovery and recycling
of plastics waste is particularly opportune.
ISO 15270:2008 has been developed to assist all plastics
industry stakeholders in the development of -
- a sustainable global infrastructure for plastics recovery
- a sustainable market for recovered plastics materials
and their derived manufactured products.
Plastics material for recovery may be obtained from various
sources and the major markets for plastics are packaging,
building and construction products, electrical and electronic
products, automotive/transportation and household/consumer
ISO 15270:2008 establishes the different options for the
recovery of plastics waste arising from pre-consumer and post-consumer
sources. The standard will assist in the selection of methodologies
and processes for the management of post-use plastics that
may be approached using various strategies.
In general, plastics recovery technologies can be divided
into two classes:
- material recovery - mechanical recycling, chemical or
feedstock recycling and biological or organic recycling
- energy recovery - in the form of heat, steam or electricity
generation using plastics waste as substitutes for primary
fossil fuel resources.
This International Standard also establishes the quality
requirements that should be considered in all steps of the
recovery process. Selection of any one of the available recycling
options should be based on compliance with the following requirements
- the need to minimise adverse environmental impact
- prior demonstration of sustainable commercial viability
- secure access to viable systems for collection and quality
ISO 15270:2008 also provides recommendations for inclusion
in material standards, test standards and product specifications.
Consequently, the process stages, requirements, recommendations
and terminology presented in this standard are intended to
be of general applicability.
Dr. Michael M. Fisher, Chair of ISO/TC 61 Plastics
- the committee that developed the standard - comments - “Access
to markets for recovered materials or energy is an important
consideration. There is already international trade in end-of-life
products for the purpose of reclaiming or recycling the plastic
components and ISO 15270:2008 is intended to provide a valuable
resource that is globally relevant, no matter which particular
legislative or regulatory framework for plastic recovery and
recycling governs its application.”
ISO 15270:2008, Plastics – Guidelines for the recovery
and recycling of plastics waste costs 78 Swiss francs
and is available from ISO national member institutes (complete