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Waste opportunities

12 November, 2020

Greasy pizza box. Can of Pringles. Wine cork. No, it’s not the aftermath of a dream lockdown night in. In fact, this packaging is a recycling nightmare. 

Our clients at Ribena announced this week that they’ve redesigned their 500ml bottle to significantly reduce the size of the sleeve, thereby making it fully recyclable in the UK. This makes Ribena the UK’s largest soft drinks brand to use bottles, which are both 100% recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic. Small change, big difference. 

This got us thinking. There are a host of examples where a tiny element of the packaging makes the difference between being fully recyclable or destined for landfill. Doritos’ new STAX range caused a stir for its fully recyclable cartons, but most crisp packets and cartons are not easily recyclable due to certain components, including their foil lining. Ditto, the pump in a soap bottle, the grease on a used pizza box, the glue on a Post-It note, and even the coating on a paper receipt, make all these items recycling no-nos.  

Amidst this disheartening state of affairs, it’s positive to see major brands recognising that recyclability is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but an essential. And with 500,000 tonnes of contaminated UK recycling being sent to landfill in a single year, it’s time for us all to join Ribena in rolling up our sleeves.  

By Sarah Howden

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