While recent legislation is shifting the onus to business owners for how recyclable their products are, the question stands – how do customers recycle your packaging? Kerbside recycling is a convenience that customers have come to expect and one it’s important to offer. We’ve put together a quick top 5 tips to keep things eco-responsible. These tips are geared towards businesses and their purchasing decisions, but the advice is still useful for consumers.
Check your local Council for Kerbside Recycling rules
While laws to standardise collections are upcoming, at present, each council recycles differently. Checking your local councils rules for recycling is important for everyone to make sure you’re recycling correctly. Some councils will accept card, plastic, glass and more while others will only accept a few of these. While this is more for consumers, if you service a local area it can be worth considering in your packaging choices.
Plastics nowadays come with a number grade. This number gives information on how easy it is to recycle from 1-7. For recycling purposes, lower is better and will mean easy kerbside recycling while higher numbers, such as 7 are almost never recycled due to their composition. When purchasing products, aim for the lowest number you can to make sure it’s easily recycled. Plastics graded 1 and 2 tend to be made from PET or HDPE. And of course, where possible, we recommend replacing plastics with paper or recycled plastic products.
The good news: Nearly all paper based products are household recyclable. The bad news: exceptions do exist. When cardboard features excessive printing, it can become unrecyclable. These types of products are clearly marked (at least at RAJA they are) so that the purchaser can plan accordingly. While the rule of thumb is that paper based products are recyclable, food packaging is an exception. Most times, food contamination makes the cardboard unrecyclable afterwards without special collection.
Of the four primary types of tape, it’s split down the middle for usability. Polypropylene and PVC Tape are generally not recyclable, the plastics that make them up and the adhesive will need to be specially treated in order to recycle them. Paper and Gummed tape on the other hand are both easily recycled. Gummed Paper Tape in particular is seen as both an eco choice and a security one as the adhesion makes the tape tamperproof. An excellent option for many eCommerce businesses.
Envelopes present a dilemma. Both the paper and plastic can be recycled but only once separated. Bubble Mailers that are mixed materials need to be split into plastic and paper in order for them to be recyclable. That’s where our Eco Bubble Envelope product comes in. It’s specially designed to come apart easily so you get the security and protection of a bubble mailer while also offering a great kerbside recycling option.
Want to make sure your packaging is eco? Get in touch with our customer service team! Our experts will help you to develop a sustainable and eco-responsible strategy to achieve your business aims.