In some cases, this is done without consideration of the effect on overall recyclability. When packaging is assessed in isolation rather than as part of the supply chain, citizens can be lulled into a false sense of security regarding recyclability and environmental sustainability claims.
To highlight some of these key issues, Recoup has produced a set of case studies which show the issues and how improvements can be made to ensure maximum recovery whilst minimising the impact on the environment. It is important that any claims made concerning sustainability are valid and not ‘greenwashing’.
The Recoup ‘Recyclability By Design’ case studies illustrate to users and designers of plastic packaging how Design for Recyclability principles can be applied to ensure that their packaging can be recycled and can display accurate messaging to the consumer. The Case Studies give examples of packaging where the switch of material works counter to the recyclability and circularity of the packaging. Illustrations particularly highlight the issues with multi-material packaging such as laminated paper bottles and trays. Often the pack had the best chance of being recycled and recovered in its original state, thus questioning to what purpose the swap was made.