Second life plastic
About this good practice
IPPR in 2005 created and registered a label called “Plastica Seconda Vita” (PSV) (i.e. “Second Life Plastic”) to make evident the recycled content of plastic and the importance of waste collection and recycling. "Plastica Seconda Vita" was created after the first attempt to introduce Green Public Procurement in Italy (Decree of Minister of Environment n. 203/2003). It is expressly mentioned in the decrees stating the Minimum Environmental Criteria for Green Public Procurement as a means of verifying the conformity of the recycled plastic content.
PSV is a voluntary environmental product certification that applies the concept of “traceability” of recycled materials and calculates their content according to the provisions of the EN ISO 14021 standard. “Plastica Seconda Vita” marked products are used in many sectors, such as: construction, urban furniture, industrial cleaning, disposable items, flooring, nursery gardening, packaging, food packaging, waste collection, materials, fabrics, commercial and office furniture, sanitary furnishings, household products.
18% of all plastics used by Italian companies in 2018 to be transformed into objects is made of recycled plastic: this figure is constantly growing. With the launch of the European Union’s Plastic Strategy, more and more recycled plastic will be used. The Plastica Seconda Vita certified products contain up to 100% recycled plastic. Two-thirds of certified products contain over 80% recycled plastic.
Evidence of success
In 2020 we count more than 3500 products labelled as PSV. The main benefits are: Increase of recycled plastics uptake; Raised public awareness; Increase of plastic waste collection and recycling. This policy provided to increase of use of recycled plastic by converters: 3% on annual basis between 2017 and 2018. In 2018 1,125 milion tons of recycled plastics transformed into new products in Italy.
Potential for learning or transfer
This approach can easily be transferred in Europe: increase in uptake of recycled plastics is one of the topics of Circular Economy Action Plan. Recycled content is calculated according to the provisions of the EN ISO 14021 standard, taking into account only post-consumer and post industrial waste recycling (byproducts reuse is not accounted). Some Italian standard on recycled plastics apply, but these material quality criteria can be easily transferred.