Brits back bold changes to packaging in bid to launch recycling revolution
Environmentally-savvy Brits are calling for a recycling revolution in a last-gasp bid to cut contamination across the UK.
Exactly half of consumers reckon it’s time they saw clearer labelling on products in stores, with almost the same volume (49 per cent) wanting more fibre-based – cardboard and paper - packaging options on supermarket shelves.
And exactly two-fifths would rather use multiple bins for different types of rubbish if it meant that more of their items could be recycled.
New research from leading sustainable packaging company DS Smith revealed the intriguing findings and Rogier Gerritsen, Managing Director, believes radical new changes can blaze a British trail.
He said: “By designing packaging which reduces the number of different components used and contains labelling that is easier for customers to understand, we increase the quality of the recyclable products and reduce the current volume of materials that are rejected.
“We are working with our customers and others in the industry to help achieve this so that we can create a truly circular economy.”
Plastic and other contamination can cause significant challenges at paper mills - adding additional costs and waste into paper making.
And from an environmental perspective, the equivalent of 391 million bin bags of plastic contamination was collected at Kemsley Mill - which can end up being burnt or landfilled if other recycling options cannot be found – in 2021 alone.
DS Smith is working with the packaging supply chain, from policy makers and Local Authorities and brands, to provide a range of solutions to tackle the issue of hard to recycle packaging products.
To date it has removed 170 million problem plastics from supermarket shelves, online retailers, and industry through the creation of 1,000 wholly recyclable fibre-based packaging solutions – covering everything from wine boxes and ready-meal trays to shrink wrap and fresh fruit punnets.
DS Smith’s R&D team is also exploring barrier technology development and innovation to replace packaging solutions and applications that contain hard-to-recycle plastics.
Gerritsen added: “While many people are doing their best to recycle commonly used items, the problem starts way before then in how a product is made.
“Our Circular Design Principles ensure that recyclability is built in at the start of the process, not at the end.”
DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials.