Specialist plastic recycler, Indigo Environmental Group, is the first plastic recycling firm to join the newly launched scheme that aims to improve the quality of recyclates across the industry.
The innovative Sustainably Sourced Plastic (SSP) Certification – launched by Sustainable Certifications Group (SCG) – offers recyclers and manufacturers independent assurance in support of the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT).
It assures that plastic packaging products are made from materials that contain at least 30% recycled plastic, and that the recycled plastic is 100% post-consumer and/or post-industrial.
The Indigo Environmental Group’s Widnes site has already received the certification for each of the streams it processes – and its Ludlow plant, Three Counties Reclamation, is also being audited this month.
The certification provides evidence of ethical procurement and legislative compliance – showing the material is exempt from the PPT.
Commenting on the launch of the scheme and collaboration with Indigo, Tim Baldwin, executive director of SCG, said: “This is the first certification scheme and plastics recycling company in the world to utilise the new BSI Flex 6228 standard for science-based physical measurement of recycled content.
“Indigo has been incredibly proactive in helping us to achieve this – allowing us to pressure test our methodology on its processes and providing valuable feedback to improve the certification development.”
The SSP is relevant throughout the entire plastic supply chain – from recyclers and compounders through to packaging manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners.
“Indigo firmly believes that the highest levels of integrity must be maintained within the recycling sector,” added Paul Kinley, Indigo’s managing director.
“We are 100% behind independent verification. The need for this level of scrutiny has to be the way forward in order to ensure open and honest reporting – SCG’s SSP scheme is by far the most progressive way to ensure transparency within our sector.”
The certification process comprises multiple stages, including conformance to the BSI Flex 6228 standard, site visits, feedstock and product sampling, approved testing, and monitoring plans.
“Although methodologies are being developed which provide traceability of materials throughout the supply chain, there are no widely agreed practices for measuring the amount of recycled content – that is until now,” added Tim.
The SSP Certification does not intend to replace any other method – such as auditing – but allows for spot-checking and verification of claims. It is designed to work in conjunction with financial systems and auditing of records.
“As more and more of the supply chain actors adopt the qualification, this will create a database of certificated customers, which will provide an accredited value chain reference point for procurement specialists and compliance schemes,” concluded Paul.
“It’s an important milestone for the sector and will be key in shaping a future that centres around the circular economy.”