A consortium of 19 research and industry organisations in Germany has developed the new DIN SPEC 91481 standard in a bid to increase the proportion of PA recycled over the long term. The standard sets out specific requirements for the classification of plastics recyclate and waste, and can be downloaded for free here.

The document is intended for producers and converters of PA recyclate and aims to facilitate trading in these products.

Christian Schiller, founder and managing director of Cirplus (Hamburg, Germany; www.cirplus.com) said, “DIN SPEC 91481 goes further than the standards on the market to date on key points. It focuses on polyamide as a material for the first time, covers both waste and recyclate, and opens the door to significantly more digitisation in the closed-loop economy”.

As an internet platform for trading recyclates and plastics waste, Cirplus initiated development of the standard.

Classifying recyclates according to Data Quality Levels (DQL), i.e. the amount of data available on the material, is set to lower the barrier to the use of recyclates in commercial products. DIN SPEC 91481 additionally includes a concept for a digital product passport – a digital solution that makes the entire lifecycle of a material traceable.

The identification and labelling of recyclates is based on the methodology developed in DIN SPEC 91446, the world’s first standard for high-quality plastics recycling and digitisation, which was published in December 2021.

It was adopted at the start of 2023 by the German carmakers’ association VDA as the basis for the use of recyclate in the automotive industry, and is currently being converted into a European standard. The new DIN SPEC 91481 will also become a European standard.

Midway through last year, the European Commission also presented the new ELV Directive (ELV = End-of-Life Vehicles) which similarly aims to increase the proportion of recyclate in the automotive sector. The plastics contained in vehicles, in particular, are currently only recycled to a “very limited extent”, it was stated at the time. Specific quotas for the use of recyclates will be published in the near future.

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