The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), along with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has announced new recycling guidelines for paper-based packaging in the UK.


Image: CPI and WRAP have announced new recycling guidelines for paper-based packaging in UK. Photo: courtesy of Bas Emmen / Unsplash.

The new recycling guidelines have been framed to support retailers and brands specify and design packaging, which can be reprocessed efficiently in paper mills.

Developed after wider consultation with the packaging supply chain, the guidelines will provide transparency for retailers and specifiers about what the UK paper industry considers readily recyclable.

The guidelines will help optimize both the quality and quantity of materials being recycled at paper mills, in addition to serving as catalyst for future technological development in paper packaging materials.

The On Pack Labelling Scheme (OPRL) will also look at the new recycling guidelines when they alter their labels later this year.

CPI raw materials director Simon Weston said: “Paper is widely acknowledged to be a sustainable, renewable and readily recyclable material; however, as society develops new uses are found which may require the addition of other materials, perhaps to extend product life, and this can sometimes make recycling a challenge.”

The guidance is said to cover plastics, coatings, varnishes, adhesives, alternative barriers, gift wrap, biodegradable paper packaging, other fibrous materials, fillers and binders, promotional magazines and graphical papers and contaminants, including food.

Important messages of the guidelines include minimization of plastic by designers, restricting the use of metallized films and laminates, providing tear-off facility for plastic facings, recycling of two-sided laminates such as beverage cartons and hard to recycle coffee cups.

Other measures suggested include selecting adhesives that are soluble in water and optimize the quantities of glues and adhesives used in manufacturing, as well as minimizing the use of waxed or waxed coated papers and siliconized papers.

WRAP strategic engagement manager Helen Bird said: “Improving the quality of paper and card that goes into our paper mills is good news for the environment and for the industry. These guidelines have been developed as a result of industry coming together to identify and address the challenges.”