P2. Recyclability of products

 

Calculation

P2: Recyclability of products =

Sum for each product (Weight of a product unit x Proportion of recyclable content x Units produced)

 / Sum for each product (Weight of a product unit x Units produced)

 x 100

Unit of the indicator: percent


Why this indicator is important

Ideally, a product is designed to be recycled, reused, remanufactured, composted or biologically degraded to reduce the demand for non-renewable resources and to keep the products out of the waste stream. Given current recycling technology, this ideal is rarely achieved. For example, as much as 32% by weight of an end-of-life automobile ends up as “automotive shredder residue” in landfill.

This indicator measures the average recyclability of the entire product mix produced at the facility within the reference year.

 

Interpretation

As with recycled/reused content (P1) this indicator could range from zero to 100 percent. Unlike recycled/reused content, many products could be designed to be 100 percent recyclable.

Review of the detailed data will help understand how each product contributes to this indicator.

Recyclability can be designed into products in terms of choice of materials and modularity. Some materials are more easily recyclable than others and facilities exist for returning them into production. For example, steel and aluminium are highly recyclable and are often recycled repeatedly.

Products can be also designed to constitute from more modular and spare components can be made available on the market. The design could, for example, focus on parts of a product that wear out most easily. Ensuring that that component can be easily removed and replaced will extend the lifetime of the product.


Related issues

This indicator does not measure the proportion of the products actually recycled. In keeping with the principle of product stewardship, it should be the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure not only that products are designed to be recycled but that programmes to recycle the products exist and are used.