Prepare for RMS Certification
Any organization that processes or trades recycled plastic materials is eligible to seek RMS certification. This includes companies that collect and sort scrap materials (such as MRFs), material reprocessors (also referred to as reclaimers, or recyclers), compounders, manufacturers of plastic products, converters, brokers, co-packaging/filling facilities, retailers and consumer products goods companies (brands). Any entity that transforms materials (either mechanically or chemically) or takes legal ownership up to the point of labeling the product must be certified to maintain the unbroken chain of custody. The RMS also encompasses a trading system for the Attributes of Recycled Content (ARCs) which supports investments in recycling technology.
Once certified, companies can make claims about their use of RMS-certified recycled materials and may opt to use on-product labels in accordance with the RMS Label and Trademark Guidelines.
Steps to Achieve RMS Certification
- Review the RMS Framework and Plastics Module to see if your company can meet the requirements of the standards.
- Consider the desired scope of your certificate. Certificates can cover a single site or multiple sites. Small business entities that meet the requirements specified in the RMS Plastics Module may participate in group certification with other companies that conduct similar types of operations. In addition, companies may choose to participate in the chain of custody system, ARC trading, or both.
- Complete and submit an application for participation in the RMS program. As part of this process, you will also be required to sign the RMS Participant Terms and Conditions and pay a Certificate Administration Fee in accordance with the RMS Fee Schedule.
- Develop an RMS management system and implement the requirements defined within the standard. If your company does not have prior experience with certification, you might consider seeking assistance or conducting an internal audit to test your readiness for certification.
- Contact a certification body from the RMS Accredited Certification Bodies. This list will be updated as new certification bodies are added.
- The certification body will work with you to further define the necessary steps to complete the initial conformance audit. If the operation meets the RMS requirements and has completed the application process outlined in Step 3, the participant will receive a certificate from the certification body.
- The certification body will enter data regarding the certificate, including covered sites and product groups, into the certificate database on the RMS website.
- Participants choosing to trade ARCs will need to create an account on the ARC Registry and, if applicable, register any projects that will be used to issue ARCs.
- Certified participants may request labels for on-product use in accordance with the RMS Trademark and Label Guidelines by submitting an RMS Label Request, which can be accessed by logging into their RMS participant account.
- An annual conformance audit conducted by the certification body must be conducted to maintain RMS certification. The scope of the conformance audit will depend on outcomes from prior audits.