Improving the recyclability of plastics
In 2015, we continued to work on collaborative projects to improve the recyclability of plastics. These include a project to explore the options for collecting flexible laminate packaging containing aluminium, so that the plastics can be recovered and converted into fuel, and the aluminium recycled.
As part of this project, we carried out a nine-month trial in 2015 to test the feasibility of including aluminium-based flexible laminate packaging in existing household recycling schemes. The trial used Enval’s pioneering aluminium recovery technology, and was funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The results of the trial will be released in 2016.
We are also collaborating with Innovate UK on a two-year research and development project to create a circular economy for flexible packaging. Due to complete by the end of 2016, the project aims to introduce new packaging designs which allow improved material recovery, along with marking and sorting techniques to make it easier to separate recyclable materials. Another planned outcome will be design guidelines for recyclability that are usable by all brand owners and retailers.