Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Guidelines launched for including recycled content in plastic packaging

New guidelines have been launched on the use of recycled content in plastic packaging.

Recycled Content Used In Plastic Packaging Applications’ has been launched by the British Plastics Federation (BPF) in conjunction with the Cosmetic, toiletry and Perfumes Association and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Thee new guidelines provides answers to questions about measuring recycled content and highlights important regulatory and technical considerations.

It is aimed at companies wishing to include recycled content in food, drink, cosmetics and pharmaceutical packaging; it is also 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.

This industry-led collaboration is intended to provide guidance on the regulatory requirements, and key technical considerations.

The document presents detailed guidance in the form of simple FAQs, answering questions like “what is a functional barrier?” or “what is a challenge test?”.

It also highlights important 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,” said Barry Turner, Director of The BPF’s Plastics and Flexible Packaging Group.

“Therefore, we are extremely happy to be working alongside the FDF and CTPA to help ensure recycled content is maximized where it delivers the most benefit to the environment, and to help bring us closer to the circular economy.”

Helen Munday, FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “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.”

Tim Chandler, Senior Scientific Officer at the Food Standards Agency, added: “The 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.”

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