Regulation on recycled plastic (EU) 1616/2022

Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1616 on recycled plastic materials entered into force on 10 October 2022. The new Regulation replaces Recycled Plastics Regulation (EC) No 282/2008.

You can find language versions of the new Recycled Plastics Regulation here

Regulation (EU) 2022/1616 aims to increase the use of recycled plastic material in contract materials while ensuring the safety of recycled plastic. Recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food must be both chemically and microbiologically safe.

The Recycled Plastics Regulation applies to all kinds of recycled plastic materials and various recycling technologies: different types of polymer, mechanical recycling, recycling from product loops which are in a closed and controlled chain, use of recycled plastic behind a functional barrier as well as different forms of chemical recycling (excluding complete chemical recycling into starting substances in accordance with Plastics Regulation (EU) 10/2011 in which case the Plastics Regulation applies). 

The European Commission authorises the applicable recycling technologies and from 10 July 2023 only recycled plastic obtained from authorised recycling technologies may remain in the market for contact material use, except for recycled plastic obtained from the development of a novel technology. At the time of entry into force of the Regulation, the Commission has authorised two recycling technologies: 1) Post-consumer mechanical PET recycling and 2) Recycling from product loops which are in a closed and controlled chain.

In the future, new technologies must meet strict safety requirements in order to be accepted as suitable technology, e.g. monitor l levels of contaminants in recycled plastic, publish a detailed report and test reports on the safety of recycled plastic produced on its website, and have a continuous dialogue with recyclers using new technology.

In addition to authorisation of the recycling technology, some recycling processes must be authorised. For example, post-consumer mechanical PET recycling (PET = polyethylene terephthalate).

The European Commission has established a public register that holds information on plastic recyclers, recycling technologies, recycling schemes as well as recycling facilities and decontamination installations relating to them as well as their current existing state of activities. Registration in the relevant register is a requirement to place recycled material on the market.

Registration guidance in the Commission’s register of recycled plastics is provided on the European Commission’s website, where registration forms can also be found. At the same time as notifying information to the European Commission notification should also be made to the municipal food control authority, whose information can easily be found here. The registration notification must be submitted 30 working days before the start of operation of the first decontamination installation.

The recycler shall draw up a compliance monitoring summary sheet for each decontamination installation under their control using the template provided in Annex II to the Regulation. The summary must be submitted to the municipal food control authority within a month from the start date of operation of the decontamination installation.  

A declaration of compliance of recycled plastic shall accompany each batch, which differs from the requirement for virgin plastic. Installation-specific manufacturing parameters assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and indicated in the compliance monitoring summary sheet of these materials must be available for inspection and be correct for each batch, also retroactively. The Recycled Plastics Regulation sets out the forms that must be used for drawing up the declaration of compliance in the Annexes (Annex III A and B) for both the recycler and the converter.

The final contact material made of recycled material shall comply with the requirements of Plastics Regulation (EU) 10/2011 as regards composition and the restrictions and specifications laid down in the Regulation, including migration limits.

You can find links to among other things the Commission’s guidance on the compliance monitoring summary sheet and declaration of compliance on the right hand side of this page and under the More information heading. In addition, the list has links to websites of the Commission and EFSA concerning applications. More links will be added as new guidelines are published.

From 10 october 2024 the collection and pre-processing of recycled plastic must be certified by a third party.

Page last updated 1/10/2023