What is the ISCC 1?
ISCC stands for International Sustainability Carbon Certification and supports the shift towards a circular economy and an increase in the bio-economy. As a globally applicable sustainability certification system, ISCC covers all sustainable feedstocks, including agricultural and forestry biomass, biogenic wastes, circular materials, and renewables.
ISCC certification provides independent verification that we are responsibly sourcing post-consumer recycled plastic and/or bio-based materials. Feedstocks that are ISCC certified must comply with various sustainable criteria2 to ensure their production is done in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner.
What is our relationship with ISCC?
ISCC is an independent 3rd party organization that reviews information and documents provided by BAT to help monitor and track the material from the moment it is sourced until it is transformed into packaging– all in a transparent way. ISCC certification helps to ensure and verify that the material is also sourced in accordance with sustainable and circular practices. In addition, ISCC helps to increase awareness about the circular economy and bio-based approaches to issues such as waste management and ensures that the criteria for including an ISCC recycled content claim on our brands have been satisfied. The organization’s seal is a recognition of our efforts to take steps to address plastic waste management by choosing post-consumer recycled plastic for packaging.
The Idea of a Circular Economy
Waste and residue vegetable oils (1) are collected and sent to biorefineries to be upcycled into new materials with virgin-like quality properties (2). Once the upcycling is done through different chemical processes a feedstock is obtained (3), which is then sent to the different plastic manufacturing companies (4). The manufacturing companies process the feedstock into plastic resins (5) that are ready to be molded into different plastic packaging (6). Following use by consumers, disposed plastic packaging can be removed from the waste stream through recycling and provide raw material for plastic manufacturing(7).
What is the mass balance approach?
In advanced recycling, various resources such as recycled and virgin materials (including bio-based and fossil based) are combined together during the production process. At the end of the process, a single type of plastic is obtained, in our case polypropylene (PP), making it impossible to determine the respective proportion source of each material initially blended together.
Mass balance approach (3) is designed to trace the flow of materials through a complex value chain. Since chemically recycled (4) or bio-based feedstocks are typically blended in the manufacturing complex, physical segregation of recycled content is often practically and economically infeasible. The mass balance approach makes it possible to track the amount and sustainability characteristics of circular and/or bio-based content in the value chain and attribute it based on verifiable bookkeeping.
For more information, please visit ISCC here.
Each packaging manufacturer purchases the amount and type of feedstock needed for their products. Both materials are mixed in the production process to create a homogeneous resin that is used to create several different packaging for different manufacturers. The packaging equivalent to the amount of sustainable material sourced can have claims on ISCC.
Are we saying that every Velo can is made from a fixed percentage of recycled plastic?
No. It is very rare that a plastics manufacturing site uses bio-based resources exclusively. Instead, they generally mix raw materials (fossil oils, bio-based resources, recycled plastics) and then can account for each using the ‘Mass Balance’ approach. This means that whilst all of the raw materials are physically mixed in the production process, under the ‘Mass Balance’ approach individual input resources are allocated to specific output products on a record-keeping basis. The plastic used to manufacture our Velo cans has been ISCC certified as 100% recycled plastic under the ‘Mass Balance’ approach.
91% recycled plastics in VELO cans
VELO makes use of post-consumer recycled plastic from ISCC-certified suppliers. By contributing to the use of recycled plastics, we hope to take a step toward promoting the circular economy, which itself aims to diminish the reliance on fossil fuels, reduce the consumption of non-renewable fossil resources, enhance more energy-efficient manufacturing processes and reduce waste in landfills.
An amount of recycled plastic estimated to be equivalent to 91% of the total weight of this packaging was allocated to this product under the “Mass Balance” approach. Approximately 9% of the weight of the product’s packaging is attributable to other components of the packaging such as our labels (which are recyclable) and the ink that color our can. Additionally, the estimate of 91% is a conservative figure that allows for variations in the weight of our plastic packaging that can occur along the manufacturing process.
Chemical Recycling: Is the process by which plastic waste is converted, through a chemical process, into a material that can be used to produce new product/packaging with virgin quality standards.
Circular economy: Our current economy is based on a linear process in which we extract resources from the earth, transform them into products and then eventually they go to waste. Circular economy, instead seeks to eliminate waste, circulate products and materials and re-purpose them into new resources and finally regenerate nature5.
Feedstocks: Feedstocks are raw materials used as either as fuels or as resources in a production process6.
Circular materials: To be considered circular materials it must have contents from existing recycled sources, such as post-consumer products, and/or reclaimed materials such as industrial by-products7.
1 ISCC, https://www.iscc-system.org/ (accessed 20 April 2022)
2 ISCC, ISCC PLUS, https://www.iscc-system.org/certification/iscc-certification-schemes/ (accessed 10 May 2022)(accessed 20 April 2022)
3 ‘The mass balance approach’, ISCC, Mass balance approach: https://www.iscc-system.org/certification/chain-of-custody/mass-balance/ (accessed 20 April 2022)
4 Chemical recycling 101, British plastics federation, 2022, https://www.bpf.co.uk/plastipedia/chemical-recycling-101.aspx (accessed 4 May 2022)
5 ‘Circular economy introduction’, Ellen Macarthur foundation, https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/topics/circular-economy-introduction/overview (accessed 20 April 2022)
6 ‘Feedstock’, Cambridge dictionary, 2022, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/feedstock (accessed 20 April 2022)
7 ‘Circular materials guidelines 1.0’, Fashion positive, 2020 https://fashionpositive.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Circular-Materials-Guidelines-v1.0-Final-08202020.pdf (accessed 20 April 2022)