Plastic packaging design guidelines unveiled

Recoup has revised a guideline document for technologists to help them design plastic packaging products that can easily be recycled.

The document, entitled Recyclability by design and published this month, has been revised for the second time this year by the plastics recycling association. It outlines how good design can improve the recyclability of packaging without compromising product safety.

For example, the guidelines advise that closures on plastic containers should be carefully considered in terms recyclability. It recommends that pack developers avoid the use of metal caps, as they are more difficult to remove than conventional plastic closures.

The document also advises designers to limit the amount of colour used in packs, as heavily coloured plastic may interfere with automated sorting machinery.

Speaking about the revisions to the original guideline, Recoup packaging technologist Paul said: “The polymer recyclability tables are the most important and relevant part of the document, which is why we have spent some time talking to the most relevant people to ensure the information is current, informative and accurate.”

Regain Polymers purchasing manager Bernard Chase was one of the contributors to the guidelines. He told LAWR: “This is a good document. A lot of thought and consultation has gone into this. Recoup has been conscientious enough to revise an earlier version of the guide and it is trying to push recyclability higher up the design agenda.”

Liz Gyekye

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