Product Packaging Guide: Identifying Recyclability of Materials in the UK by Scrapp

How can brands identify and choose packaging that works best for them and is also as sustainable as possible?
How can brands identify and choose packaging that works best for them and is also as sustainable as possible?

Searching for more sustainable packaging for your products? Wondering how to get detailed data on how well your existing packaging can be recycled across the UK? How accessible the recycling of our packaging actually is for consumers?

As a brand, determining whether your packaging is recyclable is difficult. Local rules change in each community, and the slightest changes in packaging affect its recyclability. That's why ethy's Sustainability Standards partner and recycling insights expert Scrapp and ethy work together to make choosing the right packaging that much easier.

The data in this guide provides data sheets that show the acceptance rate of the most common packaging components across the UK.

A note about the data

Before looking at the data below, you may notice that nothing is considered 100% recyclable. That is because two main factors drive recyclability called "Materiality" and "Collectability". Materials like Uncoated Cardboard Boxes, PET plastic bottles, and clear glass bottles are 100% recyclable at a material level but aren't always able to be collected or desirable from an economic perspective. This is what leads to our second driver, "Collectability." This boils down to if it can be collected and reprocessed in an efficient manner.

In order for packaging to get recycled, it has to be collected at the curb, brought to a Material Recycling Facility, sorted, and sent out to processors to be made into new packaging or products. If there aren't vibrant collection programs, a bottleneck occurs where materials cannot go on to the next step towards recycling. So with Scrapp's data, we monitor whether an item can be recycled at a material level and the extent of collection programs that are available for that material. As a brand, it's best to choose the packaging that suits your needs while having ample sustainable disposal options for your consumers.

The Waste Problem

  • Globally more than 2 billion tonnes of household waste is generated each year (The World bank)
  • Up to 93% of waste ends up in oceans & landfills (Landfillsolutions)
  • Consumers are confused about recycling. Over four in five UK households (85%) put items in the kerbside recycling that is not accepted in the recycling collection, leading to high rates of costly contamination. (Wrap 2021)

Brands: Stop the Flow of Plastic, Reduce Waste, and Make Recycling Easy

Scrapp and ethy are providing brands with the necessary capabilities, technology, and data they need to identify their packaging's recyclability and compostability. Here's how this partnership helps brands:

Material and Recycling Insights

Scrapp offers ethy members material and recycling insights to help brands identify sustainable alternatives and make better-informed packaging choices. This way, brands can implement procedures that make reuse and recycling easy for consumers. Best part? It's totally free for ethy members!

Verification and Standards

The partnership also provides verification to help brands meet ethy's Recycled Packaging and Recyclable Packaging standards, as well as Home and Industrial Compostable standards. Scrapp serves as an advisory body for ethy's Clean Planet Standards, helping brands take action on six core sustainability paths and work towards achieving the UN SDGs and the UK's national targets.

About Scrapp

Scrapp is a purpose-led platform on a mission to reduce global waste - by helping people to recycle correctly.

Scrapp provides product and location-specific recycling guidance all via a barcode scan. They surveyed over 27,000 municipalities globally to provide the most accurate data possible. This is on display via the free mobile app “Scrapp” and at Scrapp’s separation stations throughout businesses globally.

Scrapp also provides insights to brands so they can understand how recyclable their products and packaging really are. Scrapp operates as a software platform mixed with a consultancy to provide not only the tools but the expertise to help brands and communities reach their sustainability goals.

To learn more, visit the Scrapp website, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

To find out more contact: Mikey Pasciuto

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