Packaging Recyclability & Design

A critical issue facing manufacturers of plastic packaging, and the brand owners who use their solutions, is how best to achieve recyclability in a way that is practical and cost-effective.

RECOUP works with stakeholders across the industry to ensure the optimum balance between packaging recyclability and design.

What RECOUP do

  • Lead a steering group to identify key areas of investigation in design for recyclability.
  • Challenge current design practices to identify key areas of development in sustainable and recyclable packaging design.
  • Educate brands and manufacturers by providing a set of guidelines to help them to achieve recyclability of their packaging.
  • Assess plastic packaging recyclability both theoretically and in practice.
  • Investigate developments and innovations in packaging design and ideas.

How RECOUP can help

  • Conduct impartial and objective analysis of packaging available on the market.
  • Provide guidance to members on material and packaging recyclability enquiries.
  • Carry out packaging recyclability assessments at material recovery facilities supported by the RECOUP in-house lab.
  • Challenge packaging designs that sway from the guidelines set out by RECOUP, RecyClass and other recognised bodies.


Recyclability By Design Guidance

Since 2006, RECOUP has helped lead the conversation around packaging recyclability and design through our flagship publication, Recyclability by Design. Updated annually, this essential document provides a set of guidelines to help the plastics packaging industry make informed choices.

Recyclability By Design is published in three versions, all available to download free of charge.

  • Full technical version, offering details on how to recycle plastic packaging, including sustainable alternatives for some of the issues encountered with the various polymers and packaging types.
  • A summary version, written by RECOUP and the British Plastics Federation (BPF).
  • An easy-to-read version, Design Tips for Recycling, co-authored with WRAP. This is aimed at a non-technical audience who may not be experts in packaging but need to know about recycling principles.

Packaging recyclability and design in action | RECOUP case studies

Each year RECOUP produces a set of case studies inspired by packaging trends and developments.  The result is a growing library of insights and ideas to help inspire designers, manufacturers and brands to refine their efforts to make recyclability easier and more accessible.

Packaging Recyclability & Design Reports

Join the RECOUP membership today and be at the forefront of driving plastics recycling and resource efficiency! Click now to find out more.

Signing up takes just a few seconds, and you’ll receive our informative and inspiring newsletter straight to your inbox!