Industry launches new guidelines on using recycled content in packaging

Posted: 24 April 2020 | | No comments yet

The industry coalition, which includes the FDF, has launched the guidance to help policymakers better understand sector-specific issues by answering FAQs about using recycled content in packaging.

Industry launches new guidelines on using recycled content in packaging

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) in conjunction with the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), has announced the launch of new guidelines, Recycled Content Used In Plastic Packaging Applications.

Prepared through a close collaboration between the BPF, CTPA and FDF, the document provides answers to questions about measuring recycled content and highlights regulatory and technical considerations. The guidance is aimed at companies wishing to include recycled content in food, drink, cosmetics and pharmaceutical packaging, designed to help policymakers better understand the sector-specific issues.

Under current regulations and technical constraints, it is not possible at this time to incorporate recycled materials in many types of plastic packaging used by these sectors owing to the rigorous safety requirements currently in place to protect human health. 

The document presents guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), answering questions like “what is a functional barrier?” or “what is a challenge test?”. It also highlights factors to consider when incorporating recycled content into plastic packaging, such as the potential to generate extra waste or to render products unrecyclable by conventional means.

“The inclusion of recycled materials in packaging can have environmental benefits of resource efficiency and carbon savings. Therefore, we are extremely happy to be working alongside the FDF and CTPA to help ensure recycled content is maximised where it delivers the most benefit to the environment, and to help bring us closer to the circular economy,” said BPF’s Plastics and Flexible Packaging Group Director, Barry Turner.

Helen Munday, FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer, added: “FDF members are increasingly looking at ways to incorporate recycled content into their packaging in keeping with efforts to build a truly circular economy for food and drink packaging in the UK. These guidelines will help both businesses and policy makers better understand the regulatory and technical considerations that apply including those factors that currently limit recycled content when it comes to plastics for food contact applications.”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) welcomes industry initiatives to produce voluntary guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers of food contact materials; including for the incorporation of recycled plastic content in plastic food packaging. These assist industry to achieve consistency and a high standard of finished product, ensuring the safety of materials for food contact applications,” commented Tim Chandler, Senior Scientific Officer at the FSA.