Who is Responsible for Recycling Packaging?
We all know that radical changes are needed in order to improve the environmental conditions of our planet. The trouble is identifying who should take responsibility for action.
As a business owner, you may see it as your responsibility to switch from plastic to cardboard packaging. You may even provide clear labelling aimed at encouraging your customers to recycle packaging. That is a great start, but is it enough? The Local Government Association (LGA) thinks not.
The Recycling Process
When customers are encouraged to recycle, the next step in the process is for the local council to make regular kerbside collections. When all is working well, the waste is then taken to processing plants. There it is separated, cleaned and transformed into a format that can be reused.
In the case of corrugated cardboard, used boxes are broken down into fibres, which are typically mixed with virgin fibres. This mix is formed into new board, from which delivery cartons and product packaging are manufactured. The process reaches incredibly high temperatures. This kills off bacteria, meaning the new boxes are safe to use.
Paying the Price for Recycling
The trouble is that there are costs associated with collecting and recycling waste. It is great that more manufacturers are opting for recyclable packaging materials. It is fantastic that more consumers are making the effort to recycle. These improvements do, however, lead to a growing demand for recycling processes. At present, this is largely being paid for by local councils and, therefore, tax payer’s money.
With already tight budgets and little scope to increase Council Tax rates, the LGA is calling for change. Councillor David Renard, the LGA Environment spokesman is calling on manufacturers to cover the cost of recycling their packaging.
“If we are serious about improving recycling rates, then the next government needs to commit to reforms that ensure producers pay the full cost of recycling packaging. More importantly, manufacturers need to reduce waste at the point of source to stop unnecessary and unrecyclable material becoming an issue in the first place.”
Even with globally agreed targets and Greta Thunberg encouraging Governments to take action, more significant reforms like these are not popular in the run-up to an election. The LGA wishes may not be met, yet, as a manufacturer, it is good practice to consider if improvements can be made to your packaging design.
Rethinking Packaging Design
If new legislation forced your business to cover the cost of recycling packaging, what changes would you make? Would such a measure encourage your brand to reconsider packaging design?
If you think there is scope to remove unrecyclable packaging material or reduce the volume of packaging that you currently use, Aylesbury Box Company can assist. As specialist manufacturers of sustainable packaging solutions, we can use cardboard engineering and packaging expertise to design lower impact options.
Our focus is on removing any unnecessary or unrecyclable packaging elements. Our solutions do not compromise the protection offered by the packaging. We offer a bespoke packaging service to best suit your products. With an extensive range of possibilities when it comes to print and finish, it is still possible to achieve a stunning visual impact with sustainable packaging design.
For further information on sustainable cardboard packaging solutions, please get in touch with our team at Aylesbury Box Company on 01296 436888.