The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has launched the “UK’s first” recyclability assessment and certification service for fibre-based packaging.
Developed by the CPI and supported by the UK’s Paper-based Industries, Papercycle’s automated online tool provides a system to assess the recyclability of fibre-based products and materials.
CPI’s Director of Recycling said that they see Papercycle playing a “crucial role” in promoting a circular economy for fibre-based packaging as it helps to reduce waste and lower carbon emissions by keeping materials in use for longer.
The CPI says the tool also identifies whether fibre-based packaging materials can be recycled in the UK and which type of recycling mills can reprocess them – recyclability can be tested at any stage, be it finished or semi-finished products.
Papercycle provides an instant diagnosis of recyclability following the online assessment, the CPI says. For more complex products or materials, Papercycle can conduct laboratory testing under the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) recyclability test method.
As packaging materials have become increasingly complex, we have seen growing confusion over the recyclability of materials.
Following a laboratory test, the tool can provide a technical review service on how a product behaves under lab conditions to give an insight into how the various components interact with each other, diagnose the critical parts and signpost potential solutions for material modification.
With packaging reforms incoming, extended producer responsibility (EPR) will require mandatory recyclability labelling on packaging. The CPI says Papercycle’s certification service could make a standardised labelling system where customers receive a “recycle” label possible.
Packaging certified as “recyclable” will also attract lower Producer Responsibility (modulated) Fees associated with complying with the reformed Packaging Waste Regulations, the CPI says, while helping to avoid consumer confusion on what can and cannot be recycled.
Dimitra Rappou, CPI Director of Recycling, commented: “As packaging materials have become increasingly complex, we have seen growing confusion over the recyclability of materials, with an oversimplified assessment approach threatening the quality of recycling.
“Papercycle’s new service can remove the uncertainty faced by packaging designers, brands, retailers, and policymakers on the recyclability of fibre-based products. By providing accurate information on recyclability, Papercycle enables brands and manufacturers to design and develop packaging solutions that contribute to a more sustainable future.”