Top Tips To Create Recyclable Flexible Package
The topic of environmental issues due to plastic packaging has taken a back seat during the pandemic. However, it is just a matter of time when people will start discussing this issue again.
Whenever there is a discussion about the impact of plastic packaging, people also propose recycling solutions to combat the problem. In such cases, it becomes unclear to most people regarding the types of plastic materials that can and cannot be recycled. Smaller brands, in particular, do not have much in-house knowledge in this regard.
In this article, we will discuss some areas to help you determine if your plastic packaging is recyclable.
Looking at the specific structure of your packaging film
The first and foremost thing to take into consideration is the structure of the plastic film you are using. See if the film is a monolayer, lamination, or coextrusion. Look at what layers are made of. See if some of those structures are recyclable. You may also want to see if there is any way you can modify a structure to make it recyclable.
Finding a recycling pathway
Is the material you are going to use is readily recycled, or you have to take it to a different location to process it to make it fit for use? You will need to see what happens in the backend if you want to promote recyclability to your customers. See if you are asking them to put used packaging materials into the recycle bin. Also, look into if those packaging materials need to be transported somewhere else. You have to understand the journey involved in the recycling of your materials before you make a claim.
Looking at the design guide for plastic recyclability
You may want to review the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability. This guide is a set of comprehensively explained instructions regarding plastic recycling according to the industry standards.
You will want to make sure that 60% of your consumers have access to the collection systems involved in the plastic recycling process. You will also need to make sure that the packaging item you use can be processed further through a typical recycling procedure.
Researching the How2Recycle label program
Using this label can prevent recyclable items from ending up in landfills. These labels also communicate clear instructions regarding how to recycle those packaging materials. These instructions also include product-specific instructions, including telling customers to empty before recycling.
Reaching out to suppliers
The last year’s film structure may not be the most viable option today due to consistently evolving film manufacturing capability. Companies have been working consistently to producing more recyclable structures. It may be in your best interest to reach out to your supplier to get the recyclable packaging materials.