Stress free guide to product compliance

2021-02-24
ProductIP
Intermediate

The Möbius loop

Disclaimer: This document provides guidance and is not a legally binding interpretation and shall therefore not be relied upon as legal advice.

The Möbius loop is internationally known as the symbol for recycling of materials.

Image example of the mobius loop

Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC

Article 8 of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC defines the marking and identification of packaging materials.
The identification of the nature of the packaging material facilitates collection, reuse, recovery and recycling of packaging.

Decision 97/129/EC on the Packaging Directive specifies the identification codes for packaging materials, refer to the table on the next page.
The Decision states that the use of the identification system is voluntary.

Please note that when the voluntary marking is applied, the manufacturer declares that the packaging complies with the mandatory essential requirements of the Packaging Directive.

The most common used symbols are for plastics, numbered 1 to 7.
The used abbreviations for plastics may deviate, for instance in the US "V" is sufficient to indicate "PVC", and PETE (PET), PE-LD (LDPE) and PE-HD (HDPE) are used alternatives too.

Plastics #7 (OTHER) is not listed in Decision 97/129/EC but nevertheless it is often used.

Examples of the plastics symbols

 

Sort

Substance

Abbreviation

Number

Plastics

Polyethylene terephthalate

PET

1

Plastics

Polyethylene (high density)

HDPE

2

Plastics

Polyvinylchloride

PVC

3

Plastics

Polyethylene (low density)

LDPE

4

Plastics

Polypropylene

PP

5

Plastics

Polystyrene

PS

6

Plastics

Other (often polycarbonate or ABS)

OTHER

7

Paper / Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard

PAP

20

Paper / Cardboard

Other cardboard

PAP

21

Paper / Cardboard

Paper

PAP

22

Metals

Steel

FE

40

Metals

Aluminium

ALU

41

Wood

Wood

FOR

50

Wood

Cork

FOR

51

Textiles

Cotton

TEX

60

Textiles

Jute

TEX

61

Glass

Colourless glass

GL

70

Glass

Green glass

GL

71

Glass

Brown glass

GL

72

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Miscellaneous metals

C***

80

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Plastic

C***

81

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Aluminium

C***

82

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Tinplate

C***

83

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Plastic / Aluminium

C***

84

Composite

Paper and cardboard / Plastic / Aluminium / Tinplate

C***

85

Composite

Plastic / Aluminium

C***

90

Composite

Plastic / Tinplate

C***

91

Composite

Plastic / Miscellaneous metals

C***

92

Composite

Glass / Plastic

C***

95

Composite

Glass / Aluminium

C***

96

Composite

Glass / Tinplate

C***

97

Composite

Glass / Miscellaneous metals

C***

98

(C***) For composites use C plus abbreviation for principal component.

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