Consistency in plastics packaging


The Framework for Consistent Recycling was published in Sept 2016 and sets out how greater consistency in household recycling can be achieved by 2025.

The ambition is: 

“By 2025 packaging is designed to be recyclable, where practical and environmentally beneficial, and is labelled clearly to indicate whether it can be recycled or not. Every household in England can recycle a common set of dry recyclable materials and food waste, collected in one of three different ways.”

A whole chain effort is needed in order to achieve this ambition. A number of actions are underway to tackle issues including the recyclability of packaging, communications, collections, infrastructure and regulation and policy. 

Plastics packaging group

Lead by WRAP and chaired by the Co-operative Food Group, a working group has been established to: 

  • Identify the opportunities to remove those elements of packaging that hinder the recycling process, taking into account practicalities and total environmental impact;
  • Identify opportunities to rationalise packaging formats (in particular plastic packaging) to those that are recyclable and for which there is a steady market; and
  • Encourage the implementation of proven measures to improve the sorting of packaging to enable more effective recycling.

Issues identified

Through consultation with MRFs, PRFs and reprocessors, a list of key issues to be tackled has been drawn up. Brands, retailers and manufacturers are encouraged to take action to help overcome these issues and are invited to keep abreast of research and developments as they emerge. Email for further information and to get involved. 

Working group members

  • British Plastics Federation
  • British Retail Consortium
  • Bunzl
  • Co-operative Food Group
  • Defra
  • Food and Drink Federation
  • INCPEN (Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment)
  • Kermadec Ltd
  • Linpac
  • Marks & Spencers
  • Nestle
  • OPRL
  • Packaging Federation
  • Renewi
  • Resource Association
  • RPC Group
  • Sainsburys
  • Unilever
  • Viridor
  • Waitrose