This paper deals with the mathematical analysis of product-process chains, aimed at the proper design of recycling systems. A modelling method is presented that can be applied to various chains. It is applied to a case in which a producer of sophisticated packaging tools requires insight into the many options of the design of a reuse/recycling chain. This is due to expectations for the near future that are related to extended product responsibility and the enforcement of recycling. Depending on the weight of different criteria and the choice of systems boundaries, optimal solutions can be selected. It turns out that the modelling method acts as a useful decision tool. A major bottleneck is the availability of data from suppliers and customers.