Strengthening markets for mixed recycled plastic content products

Phase two toolkit

ECO-Buy recently completed phase one of the recycled plastic market development project. Some of the initial survey findings were covered ECO-Buy’s May newsletter. One of the key findings was that buyers did not feel they were well informed when it comes to recycled plastic products.

Phase two includes development of a toolkit of information to help increase the uptake of products made with mixed plastic recycled content. Based on the findings of phase 1, we expect that the toolkit will focus on the following information:

Fitness for purpose/technical properties

The unique properties of recycled plastic need to be recognised in the design of products, and when selecting these products for specific applications. Information which helps achieve this will benefit both buyers and suppliers.

Payback calculator

Buyers of recycled content plastic products should be encouraged to take a ‘whole of life cost’ approach. A simple calculator tool would enable buyers to compare recycled plastic products with an alternative.

Awareness of product applications

Despite being readily available for over ten years, a surprising number of potential buyers said their lack of awareness of available products made from recycled plastic was a reason for choosing alternatives. To address this, the toolkit should describe the various applications for recycled plastic products.

Environmental credentials

While the environmental credentials of recycled plastic appear obvious, some organisations require a greater level of detail. The proposed toolkit will contain information which helps quantify the material environmental attributes of recycled plastic.

Aesthetics

Where possible the proposed toolkit should detail how particular aesthetic outcomes can be achieved using recycled plastic, and how best to maintain the appearance of the product.

In addition to practical tools regarding specific products, the proposed toolkit is also likely to include information to help buyers (in particular local government) strengthen the connection between recycled products and waste management, and embedding ‘Buy recycled’ policies into organisations.

Next steps…

ECO-Buy is now in the process of developing the toolkit elements referred to above. If you would like to discuss this project, learn more about the project or offer feedback on the toolkit contents, please contact Stephen Reardon on  03 9349 0403 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting03 9349 0403 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting  or sreardon@ecobuy.org.au.