Plastic Packaging - Design for Recyclability

In order to maximise recycling of plastic packaging it is essential that retailers, brand owners, packaging manufacturers and designers embed recyclability principles into their pack design processes so that at the end of it's life the packaging material can be successfully recycled and used again in new products and packaging.
This maximises the quality and quantity of material that can be recycled, supports the achievement of recycling targets and helps with the transition to a circular economy.

WRAP has produced the following sets of guidance which are free to download and use. This has been generated with information from UK plastic packaging sorters and reprocessors about what their technology can and cannot recycle and is updated periodically.

Plastic Pots, tubs and trays and non-drinks bottles  

The latest UK recyclability guidance on how to design and place onto the UK market rigid plastic packaging (such as non-drink bottles, and pots, tubs and trays) that is as recyclable as possible. This is accompanied by a suite of case studies, showcasing packaging examples for products sold in the UK which are ideal for recycling.


PET bottles

There are numerous elements of bottle design that affect its recyclability and we have worked with key industry players including a selection of soft drinks companies. to develop a matrix of recyclability categories.

To help you confidentially calculate your current performance against these recyclability categories we have developed a tool that will help you discover quick wins for improving the categorisation profile, and therefore the recyclability, of your bottles.

Plastic PET Bottles

HDPE milk bottles

An online tool that provides guidance to dairies who supply fresh milk in HDPE milk bottles to the UK retailers, in order to help them to maximise the recyclability of the milk bottles they put onto the UK market.

By designing milk bottles to be as recyclable as possible, the quality and quantity of recycled HDPE (rHDPE) that can be used in new milk bottles is maximised.

Milk bottle HDPE