UK Recycling Association picks out worst packaging offenders

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Lucozade's Sport bottle criticised for "unnecessary" polymer shrink wrap sleeve

Pringles, Lucozade and black plastic meat trays have been picked out by UK’s Recycling Association CEO Simon Ellin as among the worst packaging offenders.

Appearing on a series of BBC programmes to name and shame the worst offenders of packaging for recyclability, Ellin also reveal a host of companies that were making “great strides” to improve recyclability of their packaing, a report by the association has said.

Simon Ellin picked out Pringles as one of the worst offenders due to the cardboard outer, metal lining, metal base, foil and paper strip and plastic lid making it difficult to recycle.

The chief executive of the trade body also criticised Lucozade's Sport bottle because its design means it is covered in an unnecessary polymer shrink wrap sleeve, making it 'over-packaged' and unable to be recycled.

Another group of products ranking high on the worst offenders list was supermarket black plastic meat trays. Because of the black pigment used, said Ellin they cannot be picked up by infrared technology at material recycling facilities.

Cleaning spray bottles were another no-no, due to the use of several polymers and the metal spring often incorporated into the design, making them difficult to recycle.

“We have got to ensure that the whole supply chain is involved from designers, to manufacturers, to retailers, to recyclers, to local authorities and the householder so that the products we buy can be recycled,” Ellin pointed out.

The association launched “the Quality First campaign” last year to ensure that good quality material is supplied to the market for recycling.

One of the best ways to help, he said, is to ensure that the product is easy to recycle in the first place.

“Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer and Unilever are pioneers in improving the sustainability of their products and ensuring the packaging can be recycled once used. If they can do it, surely other manufacturers and retailers can,” he concluded.

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