While press coverage concentrates on messages to the public; usually informing of packaging that is not recyclable; RECOUP have found a way to provide constructive advice to the industry showing that simple changes can make a difference.

It is hoped that a suite of Recyclability Case Studies will help provide a constructive message; there is work which can be done.

RECOUP produce Recyclability Guidelines, aimed at Packaging Technologists, Buyers and Designers, to inform how to make their packaging more recyclable.

However, as RECOUP stated at their annual conference in September, they “continue to be surprised by the number that are not aware that such guidelines exist”.

To help spread a more simplified message, RECOUP have been working for a while on Case Studies; illustrations of both packaging considered not recyclable, with reasons why, and examples of recyclable alternatives.

RECOUP Packaging Technologist Paul East explained “We are often asked what are the main issues for recyclability of plastic packaging. The idea of this latest work is not only to illustrate some of the issues, as we and others have done before, but just as importantly provide examples of alternatives”.

Stuart Foster, RECOUP CEO, added; “We would invite companies who provide or use plastic packaging to contact us, so we can help them to understand what recyclability means, and how we can provide an independent view on the recyclability of their packaging”.

RECOUP Trustee and Co-op Environmental Manager Iain Ferguson added “The work RECOUP have done will provide a simplified message to the retail industry about how to improve recyclability.  This will help smaller businesses and non-specialists in larger businesses.  It supports major cross-industry initiatives aimed at improving recyclability and collection of packaging.”

The work is ongoing, and RECOUP will continue to review examples of packaging and provide advice regarding changes which can be made.

In addition, feedback received from a number of sources concerning Recyclability By Design is that, while the document is technically accurate, a simpler version may be needed to help press forward the reasons for recycling. RECOUP have committed to address this, with a slimmed down version of the Recyclability guidelines in progress. 

RECOUP membership brings together the Recycling Industry, the Packaging Industry, and all who use rigid plastic packaging to work together to bring about change.

As a service to members and other clients, RECOUP regularly undertake comprehensive and confidential recyclability reviews through practical trials, while exploring opportunities to change either the packaging or the processes.

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