To drive the quality of collected and sorted plastics, characterisation of the waste that reaches the recycling plants must be coherent and drastically improved across the EU. Recycling input characterisation guiding requirements specify the main properties that define the type, origins and characteristics of the sorted waste, levels of impurities, means of transportation and supplier information. The documents can be used both by the sorting centres and the recycling facilities to verify the reliability of suppliers and, along with the contractually agreed specifications, to characterise the content of the bales. Furthermore, they can serve as an information benchmark in the process of checking the quality of the bales.


The documents are based on the expertise of European plastics recyclers and are aimed at encouraging the increasing quality of plastics recycling. These documents provide an information benchmark and a harmonised system of characterising the recyclers’ input, guiding the European market towards efficient, sustainable plastics waste management.

These guidelines are not made to replace the existing specifications which have been contractually agreed. They are made to provide an information benchmark to suppliers of any collected waste. The conformity of this specification will be checked according to agreed quality check procedure. All sorted products are advised to be checked upon their recyclability according to the Design for Recycling Guidelines.