The GPP criteria used in LIFE FUTURE will allow an easy inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents. These are mainly based on the EU GPP Toolkit  and complemented with criteria from other sources (Umweltbundesamt, ICLEI, Pianoo, US EPA, and so forth). The criteria aim to reach a good balance between environmental performance, cost considerations, market availability and ease of verification.

Sustainability of plastics through GPP criteria for furniture

Plastics, including both thermoplastics (with PS, PVC and PP being the most widely used for outdoor furniture) and thermosets (phenolic resins as adhesives, epoxy resins as the matrix component in many fibre-reinforced plastics, and melamine resins) are typically used in the urban furniture sector. Thermoplastics can be mechanically recycled a limited number of times. Plastics recycling facilities are widely spread across the EU, but not all facilities accept and/or recycle the same plastics. Each plastic type has a particular molecular composition and, as a result, different recycling conditions must be employed. Ensuring an easy identification and separation of plastics is therefore crucial for efficient and effective plastics recycling.

One of the mandatory GPP criteria states that plastic parts ≥ 50 g must be marked for recycling according to ISO 11469 or equivalent and they must not contain additions of other materials that may hinder their recycling.

The marking for a PP containing glass fibre would be >PP-GF30< according to ISO 11469, whilst the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) provided an alternative marking system for plastics.

Marking of plastics according to the SPI system

For verification purposes, bidders must provide a description of the plastic materials that are present in the furniture and the quantities used, the way in which they are labelled and how they are attached to one another or to other materials. Products carrying a type I ecolabel fulfilling the selected criteria will be deemed to comply.

Examples of urban furniture made with recycled plastics: bench with 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE by INDUSTRIAS AGAPITO (left); bike lane separators with 100% recycled PVC by ZICLA (right)

» Publication Date: 11/04/2017


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