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Recycling experts call for improvements to packaging design

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 08:47:06

In the past week specialists from the Recycling Association have highlighted the many issues which currently face sustainable waste processing firms when it comes to handling the many different types of packaging which are used in the modern world.

Spokesperson, Simon Ellin, said that Pringles crisps were the worst offenders, housing the snacks in a tube made up of multiple materials which make it even harder to recycle than many other packaging formats, according to the Guardian.

The Pringles tube itself is made up of a cardboard sleeve with a metal disc at the bottom and a plastic lid on top, which clearly presents something of a challenge when it comes to recyclability. Ellin said that the so-called ‘Pringles factor’ was something which packaging designers should seek to avoid if they want to make the industry greener.

He went on to argue that manufacturers should even avoid using different types of plastic when producing packaging since this could cause problems further down the line and might mean that even if items are sent to be recycled, they could end up in the landfill.

A long list of imperfect packaging designs was reeled off by Ellin, with everything from home cleaning sprays to black plastic meat packaging being singled out for criticism. This is likely to raise more awareness among consumers about the obstacles which need to be overcome in terms of sustainability and should put pressure on manufacturers to change their methods.

At the moment, just 14 per cent of the plastic packaging produced globally is subsequently sent to be recycled. Ellin is just one of a number of voices calling for this to change, arguing that making the materials themselves more recyclable is just as important as increasing the collection rates.




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