Almost everything we produce (unless it is laminated) is compostable but why is that important? In reality 97% of households don’t compost so when you are making your packing buying decisions perhaps it is more important to focus on the sustainability and environmental impact of the materials you use. The other question is can you reduce the amount of packaging that your product needs.
Our expert teams advise our clients not only on how to make their packaging more sustainable but also on how “going green” can often reduce their costs.
The recycling reality
In a small but interesting exercise we send freedom of information enquiries to a number of local Councils to ask about the level of success of their recycling programmes.
It seems that the vast majority of compostable packaging ends up in landfill – whilst this may be disheartening it does mean that the packaging will decompose safely even in a landfill environment. Our view is that there needs to be a Government-led nationwide consistent action plan for recycling and composting – only then will the efforts of us in the packaging printing industry and the manufacturing sector as a whole to move towards recyclable/compostable packaging will make a difference.
Further more, we conducted a very unscientific but interesting survey on the understanding of how to recycle. We asked 100 people about their understanding of packaging recycling labelling and the results were, quite frankly, depressing. It seems that the vast majority of people simply don’t know what can be recycled and what can’t.
We put forward a suggestion that the packaging recycling labelling should match a label on the bin. All 100 people said that this would make the process so much clearer. As an industry we can all play our part but unless the Government delivers a clear nationwide recycling strategy then our efforts will go to waste (excuse the pun)