Recycled plastics supplier Axion Polymers Ltd. has launched a new "design for recycling" service in order to help ensure that the plastic packaging placed on the market is optimized for end of life, while maintaining its primary function of product protection.
The company announced Jan. 4 that the service was aimed at the food and beverage supply chain, including packaging designers, food manufacturers, brand owners and retailers.
Those stakeholders, said Axion, “all have a vested interest in increasing the recyclability of plastic packaging and addressing the growing global problem of pollution from this short life, high profile products.”
The Manchester, United Kingdom-based company said the service was in line with a number of industry initiatives which promote the recycling of plastics and the development of end markets for recycled plastics.
The initiatives include Courtauld 2025, the plastics industry recycling action plan (PIRAP), the European packaging and packaging waste directive (PPWD) and the new "plastics economy project."
According to the company, the service builds on Axion's experience of the resource recovery sector which includes the design, build and operation of its own plastics recycling facilities.
“During the packaging design process, advice is given on material choices and product design aspects that affect the recyclability and value at end of life,” the company added.
To put the service in context, Axion said nearly 70 percent of the U.K.'s plastic packaging waste that was collected for recycling was exported, mainly to Asia, in 2016.
“With the new National Sword initiative coming into effect in China, this level of export is unsustainable,” Axion noted, adding that‘design for recycling will play a vital role in developing a more robust domestic recycling infrastructure.
Commenting on the new service, Richard McKinlay, Axion's head of circular economy, said the spotlight was “very much on plastics.”
“Our analysis helps clients to understand how their packaging will be treated at end of life and how this is impacted by the design of the pack,” explained McKinlay.