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Recoup refreshes guidelines on designing packaging for recyclability

Recoup has published a refreshed edition of its guide on design and recycling plastic packaging material, with an increased focus on the importance of designing for recycling and a secion on bioplastics.

The new edition of ‘Plastic Packaging – Recyclability By Design’ has an enlarged opening chapter that puts more emphasis on the reasons for considering recyclability during the design of products, according to Paul East, packaging technologist at Recoup.

“We still find that there is little understanding of why it is important to make packaging a certain way and more recyclable,” he said.

Guidelines on bioplastics have also been expanded as technological innovation has led the material to become recyclable, said East.

Recoup plans to continue updating the guidelines contained in Recyclability By Design, which was first published in 1996, to keep up with innovations in the industry, with a further technical update on its way. The document covers all forms of rigid plastic packaging, and aims at helping to produce packaging which is recyclable as well as commercially viable.

Stuart Foster, Recoup chief executive, said: “The real goal is to ensure reprocessors can recycle the plastics supplied to them in a commercially viable way, without stifling innovation or restricting choice for the packaging industry. It is also imperative that wider environmental factors such as carbon and material saving are considered as part of sustainable packaging design.”

Other organisations have urged producers to consider recyclability when designing their packaging material.

Chris Sherwin, head of sustainability at designers Seymourpowell, told the Product Design + Innovation Conference in London how he changed the design of some products after having visited a plastic recycler.

Driving policy to encourage packaging design for recoverability was also one of the points highlighted in a six-month review of the RSA’s ‘The Great Recovery’ project, which looks at design as a key aspect of the circular economy and resource efficiency.

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