Recycling vs Regulation: Compliance for Recycled Materials used in the Manufacture of Consumer Products

Recycling vs Regulation: Compliance for Recycled Materials used in the Manufacture of Consumer Products

Compliance for recycled materials is a topical issue for many brands and retailers who want to satisfy consumer demand for more sustainably manufactured products.

Consumers around the world are showing a growing awareness of the social and environmental consequences of their buying habits. This has led to greater attention being given to matters of end-of-life (e.g. recyclability) as brands seek to manage their environmental footprint and engage with the concerns of modern, and future, consumers. The circular economy has been identified as a potential means by which traditional ‘take-make-waste’ manufacturing processes can be replaced. However, in trying to implement circular approaches, brands and manufacturers must overcome the obstacle of ensuring that any products made of recycled materials comply with regulation.

 

Utilising recycled materials

It is now clear that manufacturing processes that generate waste materials which cannot be recycled or biodegraded are environmentally unsustainable. In addition, research into the buying habits of Millennials and Generation Z indicate that some consumers will preferentially choose products with a reduced social and environmental footprint. As a result, there is a growing impetus for brands to find ways of reducing their environmental footprint, and the circular economy (manufacturing products made of recycled raw materials) has been proposed as one mechanism by this can be achieved.

Technological advancements are making the implementation of circular economies more feasible. For example, there has been an emergence in commercial footwear recycling facilities in recent years, facilitated by technology that enables the separation of constituent materials (e.g. leather, rubber, textiles). As a result, it is now possible for brands to access recycled materials which not only reduces their environmental impacts and enables engagement with modern consumer habits, but also enables them to become less dependent in the fluctuating costs of raw materials.

 

The Challenges of Compliance for Recycled Materials

While it is becoming easier to make use of recycled materials, issues such as regulatory compliance for recycled materials continue to act as obstacles that brands and manufacturers must overcome. There are currently no regulatory concessions, or exemptions, for products made of recycled materials (excluding a limited number of textiles) despite the additional challenges they face when seeking compliance. Continuing with the example of recycled footwear, commercial facilities will process different footwear types and brands with every iteration, meaning that every batch of materials will be unique to some extent. As a result, products making use of these recycled materials will face the challenge of ensuring consistency and chemical compliance for recycled materials in the specific properties of their products. Moreover, managing any issues of non-compliance will then be made more difficult by the challenge of identifying the footwear from which offending materials originate, and ensuring that these do not continue to appear in future production.

 

Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain: Emerging Risks

Eurofins | BLC and APLF are organising the Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Conference on 14th March 2019 in Hong Kong, sponsored by Silvateam and Stahl.

The theme of the half day sustainability conference is emerging risks, and the topics of compliance for recycled materials will be explored in greater detail. The event will involve presentations by expert speakers and offer the opportunity to engage with a range of leather industry stakeholders (e.g. brands, tanneries, chemical companies) during the networking session. Speakers include global industry brands such as Bellroy, Silvateam and Stahl, with further speakers to be confirmed soon.

Single Delegate Rates
Standard: US$385
Eurofins | BLC Member/APLF Exhibitor: US$355 (login for discount code)

Multiple Delegate Rates (2nd and 3rd delegates etc)
Standard: US$370
Eurofins | BLC Member/APLF Exhibitor: US$340 (login for discount code)

To learn more about this leading sustainability conference, please view our draft agenda online.

 

Join Us: Register Today

To reserve your place at the Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Conference 2019 in Hong Kong, complete the delegate registration form online on the APLF website.

 

Register Today

5 February 2019

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