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Design for recycling to play ‘a vital role’

United Kingdom – UK plastics recycling expert Axion has launched ‘a new design for recycling service’ aimed at helping ensure that packaging placed on the market has been optimised for end of life while maintaining its primary function of product protection.

The service is targeted at a range of stakeholders along the food and beverage supply chain, including packaging designers, food manufacturers, brand owners and retailers.

It will also serve those working with industry initiatives to increase the recycling of plastics and to develop end markets for recycled plastics.

In 2016, nearly 70% of the plastic packaging waste collected in the UK for recycling was exported – mainly to the Far East, according to latest figures from WRAP.

This level of exports is ‘unsustainable’ given the latest import restrictions in China, argues Axion. ‘To ensure recycling targets are met, “design for recycling” will play a vital role in developing a more robust domestic recycling infrastructure,’ the company adds.

Axion’s head of circular economy Richard McKinlay comments: ‘The spotlight is very much on plastics. Momentum is building as the issue of how we manage packaging waste is climbing up the agendas of every nation.’

The company foresees a push on producer responsibility that will require packaging to be collected and recycled. ‘Brand owners taking action now on their packaging designs can future-proof them against forthcoming issues,’ it suggests. ‘This would help to gain a competitive edge in a more environmentally-focused consumer environment.’

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