Research into ways of increasing the amount of flexible laminate packaging that is collected and recycled in England has been commissioned by Defra.
Environmental consultancy LRS has been given funding from Defra’s Action Based Research programme to carry out the study into viable approaches for packaging materials containing aluminium, such as pet food pouches and toothpaste tubes.
The consultancy is partnering with recycling technology firm Enval, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sita UK, Tesco and Nestle UK & Ireland, who will each bring elements of their expertise to the project.
The initial scoping study will look at how flexible laminate packaging is collected and recycled and will assess the feasibility of different collection and communication approaches to target households and businesses across England.
Depending on the results of this first stage, the consortium may then move on to test different collection methods and look at how consumer behaviour influences the different collection models.
The study will also look at better understanding the public’s attitude and behaviour to recycling flexible packaging and assess the effectiveness of behaviour change campaigns.
Dee Moloney, LRS Consultancy’s managing director, said: “Brands are increasingly using flexible laminate packaging to help preserve their products for longer, reduce the amount of material used in the manufacturing process and ‘lightweight’ their packaging. However, sometimes such initiatives result in unintended challenges for the resource management industry to manage and process these mixed-material products post use.
“The consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver this research and we are delighted to have received a good response from a broad range of interested parties who are keen to support the project.”