Three big high street names have completed year-long trials into using recycled plastic in packaging and are looking to use more of it in the future.
With funding from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE), Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Boots all explored using recycled PET (rPET), and found the material could meet technical, commercial and safety requirements as well as consumer acceptability.
All the trials had the recycled content packaging on shop shelves for over 6 months with no adverse affect on sales.
M&S used rPET in its Food to Go range, and plans to extend its use to a wider range of products.
While CCE said it was delighted with the trial and related energy savings. CCE rPET project manager Martin Rodgers said: “We would like to continue to use rPET and are currently working with our supply partners to assess if there is sufficient material available to make this feasible.”
Boots used rPET in its Ingredients range, and sustainable development manager Andrew Jenkins said the company was “poised to roll out the use of rPET to other products with potentially increased inclusion rates”.
The responses have been received positively by WRAP. Chief executive Jennie Price said: “This type of commitment from major brand names signals a growth in demand for rPET, which will in turn stimulate UK recycling capacity and will also show consumers that there is a strong home market for the plastic they recycle.”
WRAP said more reprocessing capacity and material would be needed to meet the demand growth, and it plans to work with local authorities, the recycling sector and consumers, to increase the amount of plastic bottles recovered from household waste.