Calls for a New Approach to Packaging

Reducing waste at its source is being increasingly touted as the only viable and sustainable option for combatting the UK’s litter problem.

Now a UK plastics packaging expert, Axion has launched 'a design for recycling service,’ which aims to make packaging that is easier to recycle, while protecting products.

The service is going to be aimed at companies in the food and drinks industry, retailers, and those working to increase the amount of plastics that are recycled.

axion

The end of reliance on exporting recycling

In 2016, the UK exported 70% of its plastic packaging waste, mainly to the Far East. Now that China has issued restrictions on imports, this is not sustainable, and to ensure the government meets its recycling targets, there needs to be more of an effort to concentrate on developing sustainable packaging, and this is where Axion comes in.

Producer responsibility

Axion believe that there will be more of an emphasis on producer responsibility for the collection and recycling of packaging, and if this becomes the case, then it makes sense for firms to invest in sustainable packaging to save them a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.

Dealing with disposable coffee cups

Anything disposable is now becoming controversial because of the negative impact it has on the environment, and coffee cups are no exception. Leading figures in the recycling and packaging industries have called for a ‘joined-up’ approach to disposable packaging after MP’s proposed a 25p tax on disposable coffee cups. MP’s argued that money from the levy could be used to improve infrastructure so that more paper cups are recycled.

The Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association said that reform of the entire system was needed, and that manufacturers, brands, and retailers had to work together to reform the way that single-use packaging is produced and recycled.

coffee cups

The need for a ‘joined up’ approach to recycling

Other industry figures agree that increasing producer responsibility is a good idea because it gives scope to improve recycling infrastructure and to get consumers engaged.

There is now widespread support for reform of the packaging recycling system from packaging companies, local authorities, waste management companies and recycling companies, and it’s been recognised that waste should be tackled at its source rather than dealt with by taxing different types of packaging.

Encouraging signs

The packaging industry agrees with the government that consumers need easily accessible and widely available recycling provision, and the current problem is that recycling provision varies widely according to location, and that when people are on the go, provision can be glaringly sparse.

There are encouraging things happening though, including major coffee chains promoting reusable cups and providing instore recycling facilities. 

cup recycling