Even though the grocery store sector accounts for about seventy percent of the packing market, a current record disclosed almost a third of plastic packing used by UK super markets is either non-recyclable via accepted collection schemes or fairly difficult to recycle. This isn’t country specific – recycling processes can be an issue worldwide.
Most plastic food material will have the word ‘recyclable’ on it, however this does not fundamentally always mean the packaging will be recycled. The actual procedure of recycling multi-material packaging could be time intensive and expensive, and relies greatly on customer behaviour as well as collection segregation.
Adopting one type of packaging
Numerous food merchandise utilize a blend of packaging materials, for example microwaveable food in mnarkets might use card, clear film, and black plastic, not all of that can be recycled. Even if they could, the actual procedure of recycling them would demand the customer to divide the materials so that the plastics can be reprocessed separately from the cardboard. It’s not usually necessary to utilize all three materials, and food brands can easily make a move on the way to adopting streamlined forms of packing, that utilize just one or two materials. This has observed numerous brands, such as Waitrose, invest in innovative alternatives, such as its fibre-based ready food tray which has purpose-made coating – simplifying its packing to make it convenient to recycle whilst shifting away from the usage of black plastic material.
Tackling black plastic
Black plastic in general is a area where food brands can immediately improve the sustainability of their packaging. The reason for black plastic’s use over clear possibilities are primarily aesthetic, however this form of plastic is a obstacle to recycle with present technology. The black carbon pigments can’t be detected by the devices that sort plastics for recycling, meaning that recyclable material can only be diverted to energy from waste facilities or landfill. In most cases, there is no reason that the food packaging couldn’t be changed to alternative colours, that are more conveniently identifiable, meaning they can be more widely recycled, backed by the existing worldwide infrastructure.