Packaging Advice

How can you use recycled content in packaging to help the environment?

5 mins

With the new plastic tax coming into force April of next year, you may have heard a lot of talk about ‘recycled content packaging’ as businesses scramble to switch to more sustainable materials. But what is recycled content packaging and how does it benefit the environment?

In this article, we will be exploring recycled content in packaging and its benefits, as well as discussing some of the packaging products that support the new bill.

What is recycled content in packaging?

Firstly, what is recycled content in packaging? Recycled content in packaging is any packaging product that has been manufactured using non-virgin materials that have been previously used. These can be waste materials or by-products from the initial manufacturing process or post-consumer waste, so basically materials that come from things we have used before and put in our recycling bins.

In order to help build a circular economy, as well as to try and be in line with the new plastic tax guidelines, many businesses are increasingly looking at ways to incorporate recycled content into their packaging operations.

The recycled content of a component is based on the weight of the plastic material within the component, compared to the amount of recycled content. To find out more about how the recycled content system works, as well as the full information about the new tax, visit our latest blog.

The benefits of recycled content in packaging

It is hoped that using recycled content in new products will increase the demand for recycling as well as expand the market for the final material, ultimately helping to drive costs down in the process.

In the eco-friendly climate of today, there are many benefits of using products with at least 30% recycled content. Did you know if your business shows that it engages in sustainable practices, this can help generate a positive image and improve your economic returns for your company and its products? The additional benefits include:

  • Sustainability Increase: By using recycled materials, it means that fewer raw materials are needed. This increases sustainability in the supply chain and reduces the strain on natural resources such as fossil fuels or tree stocks impacted by deforestation.
  • Saves energy and reduces landfill problems: The amount of energy consumed in the manufacturing process is also reduced. One ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 Kwh of energy, 16.3 barrels of oil and 30 cubic yards of landfill space. This shows how by using recycled content, you can be reducing the amount of oil used for plastic production, as well as the amount of energy and C02 emissions associated with the product being reduced.
  • Less waste in landfill: Recycling plastic products keeps them out of landfills and allows the plastics to be reused in manufacturing new products.
  • Lower costs: using recycled content in your business can help to lower costs of your materials and improve your bottom line.
  • Pricing dependency: By using recycled content, you will be reducing your businesses dependency on plastic pricing. 

These are just a few benefits that come with using recycled content. In a study by WRAP, 78% of customers said that they would feel more positive about a product or manufacturer whose packages contained recycled plastic, this shows how by using recycled content in packaging you can build on brand loyalty and change customer perceptions.

Swiftpak Packaging Audit

Recycled content packaging examples

As a Certified B Corporation®, at Swiftpak we really care about sustainability and protecting our environment, so we try our best to make sure our products reflect that. We have recently hired a new head of innovation to help us bring new packaging ideas to life, which will hopefully help us to incorporate even more sustainable recycled content as well as alternative sustainable materials.

So far, the packaging products we have with at least 30% recycled content include:

  • Premium Polypouch bags: Contains at least 30% recycled content and is made out of high tear-resistant material. They also have excellent label and glue strip adhesion.
  • Cast Clear Pallet Wrap Film: Contains 75% recycled content and provides great optics, gloss, strength, and cling without additives. These stretch films keep products tightly bound and pallets stable, the tension in the film also helps to keep pallets secure whilst in transit.
  • MWrap: Even though our MWrap currently contains 21% recycled content, we recommend it because it utilises the latest technology in film production providing a reinforced, stronger film that is thinner than recycled content wraps. So, even though you will need to pau the tax, the bottom line is you might still be using less plastic and will be less costly.

We would also recommend trying out our stretch wrap calculator. In just a few clicks, the calculator will let you know how much your business can save on plastic by switching to MWrap instead.

Recycled Content with Swiftpak packaging

As mentioned above, at Swiftpak we are always trying to innovate and explore new packaging solutions as sustainability is really important to us.

We are also hosting a webinar on the 9th June at 14:00 with environmental consultancy Comply Direct to help prepare businesses for the upcoming Plastic Tax in April 2022. During the webinar, our guest speaker and policy leader, Martin Hyde, will share the latest insights from HMRC, and will discuss how your business can become compliant. Please sign up to find out all the available information and prepare your business for the new changes.

Need to know more about the packaging products we provide that contain at least 30% recycled content? Contact us today and our packaging experts will be happy to help.