A consortium including the retailer Tesco and consumer brands Nestlé and Coca-Cola and waste management company Sita has received a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) funding to explore ways to increase the amount of flexible laminate packaging that is collected and recycled in England.
The initial study, led by LRS Consultancy, will assess the feasibility of a range of collection systems for households and commercial premises. It is estimated that more than 160,000 metric tons of flexible laminate packaging enters the U.K. marketplace each year, including such items as food and beverage pouches, toothpaste tubes and pet food sachets.
Dee Moloney, managing director, LRS Consultancy, said: “Brands are increasingly using flexible laminate packaging to help preserve their products for longer, reduce the amount of material used in the manufacturing process and lightweight their packaging. However, sometimes such initiatives result in unintended challenges for the resource management industry to manage and process these mixed-material products post use.
“The consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver this research and we are delighted to have received a good response from a broad range of interested parties who are keen to support the project.”
Laminated packaging recycler Enval is also be involved in the project. The firm's managing director, Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, said: "We are delighted to be working with collection companies and brand owners to find the best way to collect flexible laminate packaging and establish increased recycling rates for this material as part of our commitment to the U.K.'s circular economy.”