Recycling Industry and Packaging Industry contribute to RECOUP’s latest ‘Recyclability By Design’

Date Published: Tuesday 8th October 2013

Recoup’s guideline document for Packaging Technologists and Pack Developers involved in plastic packaging has been revised for the second time this year.

‘Recyclability By Design’ is one of RECOUP’s most important documents, and well regarded throughout Europe. The existing version, released in June this year, was a refresh of the look and update of some of the content, including some additional chapters and more relevant photographs.

However the technical details, the recyclability matrices for each polymer, were not re-written. Recoup would not publish any review of these without major research, input and approval from both the recycling industry and the packaging industry.

Recoup Packaging Technologist, Paul East, declared; “The polymer recyclability tables are the most important and relevant part of the document, which is why we have spent some time talking to the most relevant people to ensure the information is current, informative and accurate.”

In acknowledging the importance of the document and the relevance in helping to resolve some of the issues faced by the recycling industry, one of the contributors to the tables and the technical aspects of the document, Bernard Chase of Regain Polymers, commented; “The whole supply chain must recognise the need to work in harmony if we are to create a successful, economically speaking, recycling loop.”

The recyclability tables are polymer specific, with separate tables for PET Bottles, PET Trays, PP, HDPE, PS and PVC. The PET guidelines have previously been one table, but Recoup felt this would be more relevant split into separate tables, one for Bottles and one for Trays.

Recoup have also changed the headings on the columns, from a ‘yes’ / ‘may be’ / ‘no’ to more descriptive headings. The tables show a more positive view of any packaging which avoids the use of non-recyclable items. The hope is that this will encourage designers with an interest in recyclability to look for ways to improve their packs.

Recoup acknowledge contributors to the polymer tables

For the formation of this document, a program of engagement with experts, supporters and hey industry associations was undertaken to obtain broad acceptance for the document, and more specifically for the updated recyclability tables.

Contacts included Recoup members and other industry contacts from both the recycling industry and the packaging industry.

Recoup are extremely grateful to the following for their help and advice in the formation of the revised recyclability tables:

The full 68 page guide is available for download from the Recoup website. Please click here.

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