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RECOUP Has Released Its Updated Recyclability by Design Publication

Recycling charity, RECOUP has released its updated Recyclability by Design publication to include guidelines for recyclability of plastic film.

The Recycling charity, RECOUP, has updated the Recyclability by Design publication to include guidelines covering plastic film. The guide already covers material-specific guidelines for other plastics such as PET, HDPE, PP and PS. 

RECOUP’s annual UK Household Plastics Collection Survey reported in 2019 that only 16% of UK local authorities list film as being collected kerbside. The guide aims to help overcome the challenges surround recycling plastic film packaging, and includes contributions from RECOUP members: Coca-Cola, Faerch, Garçon Wines, KP Films, Krehalon, Borealis and TOMRA Sorting Solutions.

The low value of the material, combined with problems that it causes sorting and recycling machinery, accounts for low collection rates of film. The updated guidance highlights the importance of the separation of materials, which may not currently considered when designing packaging. 

The guidance also outlines the greater recyclability credentials of PE and PP film, when compared to other materials, which could boost the chances of film being successfully included in recycling streams.

It is hoped that the document will encourage packaging designers of the different recycling possibilities and highlight how certain packaging can inadvertently interfere with existing recycling streams. 

Jimmy Dorrell, Head of Sustainable Business at Clarity Environmental, said: “Ensuring there is clear and consistent communication throughout the packaging and waste industries, from design to disposal, is essential in helping innovate and move closer to a circular economy. 

“Guidance, such as the publication put together by RECOUP, as well labelling guidelines from the OPRL, is essential to enable this information to be shared. As contamination of materials, particularly in kerbside recycling, could make a huge difference to the quality of materials collected for reprocessing, this will also help with communication to the public and inform them about how best to dispose of their packaging materials after use.”

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