Consumers are often hesitant to purchase recycled products, mainly because they might be of poor quality. To make recycled products more marketable, common standards are critically needed to ensure that the industry produces only quality products and to persuade consumers to buy them. Common standards can reduce transaction costs because they guarantee the quality of recycled products (Kojima and Atienza, 2010).
Common standards can be developed by national governments or industry associations and can be either mandatory or voluntary. Some countries enhance their export–import standards through, for example, measures such as bans and prior consent to prevent unmanaged environmental impacts of recycling. Some ASEAN+3 countries have enacted several national industrial standards for recycled products.
Since 2000, Japan has accelerated standardisation to promote recycling through the Japan Industrial Standard (Kojima and Atienza, 2010). In 2017, Japan had 10,622 standards, 5,855 of which corresponded with international standards (JISC, 2017). As of 31 March 2019, Japan had 10,773 standards. Table 1 lists some standards related to promotion of plastic recycling.
Table 1. Industrial Standards for Promoting Plastic Recycling in Japan
Recycling: Industrial Standards for Recycled Products (Table 1)
|JIS Number||Name of Standard||Issue|
|JIS K 6899: 2000||Plastics – Symbols and abbreviations||Labels indicating characteristics of basic polymers and their properties, fillers and reinforcements, plasticisers, and flame retardants|
|JIS K 6999: 2004||Plastics – Identification and display of plastic products||Labelling system for identification when determining the handling of plastic products|
|JIS Z 0130: 2015||Environmental considerations for packaging||Packaging management through basic requirements, optimisation of packaging systems, reuse, material recycling, energy recovery, and organic recycling|
|JIS Z 0150: 2018||Packaging – Symbols for handling of packaged cargo||Graphical symbols for handling the storage and distribution of packaged cargo|
|JIS Z 0609: 2017||Plastic flat pallets using recycled containers and packaging||Recycled containers and packaging for plastic flat pallets|
|JIS Z 0666: 2017||Application of radio frequency identification (RFID) to the supply chain – product packaging||RFID specifications for supply chain of product packaging|
|JIS Z 1707: 2019||General rules for plastic film for food packaging||General rules for single-layer and multi-layer plastic films used in food packaging|
|JIS Z 7001: 2007||Plastics – Environmental aspect – General introduction guidelines for standards||General guidance of environmental aspects in plastic product standards|
|JIS Z 7121: 2007||Life cycle inventory survey method, including the recycling stage of plastic||Adoption of life-cycle assessment in the recycling stage of plastic|
China delivers many national standards to enhance plastic recycling. They are called GB (Guo Biao) Standards. Thirty-two prefix code classifications differentiate GB Standards from one industrial sector to another. Amongst those classifications, one is for the environmental protection sector, namely HJ, HJ/T, HJT, under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (China National Standards Service Center). The GB Standards are generally classified into two stages: mandatory (prefix code without T) and recommended (prefix code with T). Table 2 lists several GB Standards.
Table 2. Industrial Standards for Promoting Plastic Recycling in China
Recycling: Industrial Standards for Recycled Products (Table 2)
|GB Standards Number||Name of Standard||Issue|
|HJ 209-2017||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Plastic packaging products||Environmental labelling guideline for plastic packaging products|
|HJ 2540-2015||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Wood plastic composites products||Environmental labelling guideline for wood plastic composites products|
|HJ 421-2008||Standard of packaging bags, containers, and warning symbols specific to medical waste||Requirements for special packaging bags, containers, and warning signs for medical waste|
|HJ/T 226-2005||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Plastic pipes for construction||Environmental labelling guideline for plastic pipes for construction|
|HJ/T 231-2006||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Products made from recycled plastics||Environmental labelling guideline for products made from recycled plastics|
|HJ/T 233-2006||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Foamed plastics||Environmental labelling guideline for foamed plastics|
|HJ/T 237-2006||Technical requirement for environmental labelling of products – Plastic doors and windows||Environmental labelling guideline for plastic doors and windows|
|HJ/T 364-2007||Technical specifications for pollution control during collection and recycling of waste plastics||Pollution control supervision and management during storage, transportation, pre-treatment, and recycling of waste plastics.|
Source: China National Standards Service Center.
Indonesia promotes plastic recycling through standards on environmental management, specifically on eco-labelling criteria. One standard is SNI (Indonesian National Standard) under the National Standardization Body (BSN). Table 3 lists the specific industrial standards on eco-labelling criteria.
Table 3. Industrial Standards for Promoting Plastic Recycling in Indonesia
Recycling: Industrial Standards for Recycled Products (Table 3)
|SNI Number||Name of Standard||Issue|
|SNI 19-4377-1996||Polyethylene plastic for packaging||Guidance to production of polyethylene plastic for packaging|
|SNI 7188.7:2016||Eco-labelling criteria – Part 7: Category for plastic and bioplastic shopping bags that easily decompose||Guidance to production of recyclable plastic products, including the attachment of eco-label logo, certification number, and statement on their easy-to-decompose characteristic|
|SNI 7322:2008||Melamine products – Tableware||Guidance to production of melamine products such as tableware|
|SNI 7323:2008||Plastic – Food and beverage containers – Polystyrene foam||Guidance to production of food and beverage containers including polystyrene foam|
|SNI 8424:2017||Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin||Guidance to production of Recycled PET resin|
|SNI ISO 14021:2017||Environmental labels and declarations – Self declared environmental claim (type II environmental labelling)||Declaration of the implementation of Type II (self-declared environmental claim) of the environmental labelling|
Source: Center for Environmental and Forestry Standardization (2017), BSN.
4. The Philippines
To promote plastic recycling, the Philippines has established the Philippine National Standard (PNS) through the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS). Table 4 lists the relevant standards, mostly adopted from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Table 4. Industrial Standards for Promoting Plastic Recycling in the Philippines
Recycling: Industrial Standards for Recycled Products (Table 4)
|PNS Number||Name of Standard||Issue|
|PNS 2102:2013||Specifications for compostable plastics||Identification and labelling of plastics and plastic products suitable for recovery through aerobic composting|
|PNS ISO 14006:2011||Environmental management systems – Guidelines for incorporating eco-design||Management of eco-design as part of the environmental management system|
|PNS ISO TR 14062:2011||Environmental management – Integrating environmental aspects into product design and development||Concepts and current practices relating to the integration of environmental aspects into product design and development|
|PNS ISO 14026:2018||Environmental labels and declarations – Principles, requirements, and guidelines for communication of footprint information||Footprint communications for products, addressing areas of concern relating to the environment|
|PNS ISO TS 14027:2018||Environmental labels and declarations – Development of product category rules||Product category rules within a type III environmental declaration or footprint communication programme based on life cycle assessment|
To promote plastic recycling, Malaysia applies the Malaysian Standards (MS) developed by the Department of Standards Malaysia under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. The Department of Standards Malaysia has appointed the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM Berhad) as the sole national agency coordinating standards development activities. As many as 5,165 standards had been formulated as of 8 October 2019 (Department of Standards Malaysia, 2019). About 60% are aligned with international standards. Related to plastics and plastic products, 390 standards have been offered. SIRIM Berhad has also issued SIRIM ecolabelling criteria documents. Table 5 lists standards related to plastic recycling.
Table 5. Industrial Standards for Promoting Plastic Recycling in Malaysia
Recycling: Industrial Standards for Recycled Products (Table 5)
|MS/SIRIM Number||Name of Standard||Issue|
Specification for polyethylene plastics moulding and extrusion
materials from recycled post-consumer (HDPE) sources
|Specification for producing certain plastics products|
|MS ISO 14024:2000||Environmental labels and declarations – Type I environmental labelling – Principles and procedures||Declaration of the implementation of Type I of environmental labelling|
|MS ISO 15270:2008||Plastics – Guidelines for the recovery and recycling of plastics waste||Standards and specifications covering plastics waste recovery, including different options of recovery and quality requirements in all steps of recovery|
|SIRIM ECO 001:2018||Eco-labelling criteria – Biodegradable and compostable plastic and bioplastic||Eco-labelling criteria for biodegradable and compostable plastic and bioplastic (revision)|
|SIRIM ECO 009:2019||Eco-labelling criteria – Biodegradable and compostable biomass products||Eco-labelling criteria for biodegradable and compostable biomass products (revision)|
|SIRIM ECO 018:2017||Eco-labelling criteria – Recycled plastic products||Eco-labelling criteria for recycled plastic products|
Sources: Malaysian Standards Online, Mohamed (2010), SIRIM Berhad.
Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), Philippine National Standards (PNS) Catalogue. http://www.bps.dti.gov.ph/index.php/component/booklibrary/115/show_search?Itemid=115 (accessed 11 December 2019).
Center for Environmental and Forestry Standardization, Standard Instrument for Sustainable Development Goals of SNI Environmentally Friendly Plastic Shopping Bags. http://standardisasi.menlhk.go.id/index.php/2017/11/07/standar-instrumen-tujuan-pembangunan-berkelanjutan-sni-tas-belanja-plastik-ramah-lingkungan/ (accessed 11 December 2019).
China National Standards Service Center, China GB Standards Search System. https://www.gbstandards.org/index.asp (accessed 12 December 2019).
Department of Standards Malaysia (2019), MS Statistics. http://www.jsm.gov.my/ms-status (accessed 12 December 2019).
Japan Industrial Standard Committee (JISC), Japan and Industrial Standards 2017. Tokyo: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. https://www.jisc.go.jp/eng/policy/Japan_and_Industrial_Standards_2017.pdf (accessed 11 December 2019).
Kikakurui.com, http://www.kikakurui.com/ (accessed 11 December 2019).
Kojima, M. and V. Atienza (2010), ‘Industrial Standard for Recycled Goods in Japan and South East Asian Countries’, in M. Kojima (ed.), 3R Policies for Southeast and East Asia. Jakarta: ERIA, pp.216–34.
Malaysian Standards Online. MS Standard Catalog. http://www.jsm.gov.my/web/msonline/msstandard (accessed 12 December 2019).
Mohamed, A.F. (2010), ‘Establishing Industrial Standard for Recycled Waste: The Case of Malaysia’, in M. Kojima (ed.), 3R Policies for Southeast and East Asia. Jakarta: ERIA, pp.190–215.
National Standardization Body (BSN). SNI List. http://sispk.bsn.go.id/SNI/DaftarList (accessed 13 December 2019).
SIRIM Berhad, SIRIM Standards. https://standards.sirimsts.my/catalog.php?std_type=125 (accessed 12 December 2019).