Our group’s recent unboxing survey revealed 97% of people want to recycle packaging they receive, which is great! However, results also highlighted that not everyone felt confident in doing so. 14% of respondents said that they weren’t sure if they could recycle packaging because it wasn’t clearly labelled.
Recycling at home isn’t always straight forward. Rules about what you can recycle change, depending on your location. This means that producers and users of packaging need to do all they can to make sure end consumers can easily recycle packaging at home.
So how can businesses who use packaging make it easier for end consumers to recycle packaging?
If you’re a businesses that uses packaging, here are three things you can do to encourage recycling and make your packaging more sustainable:
Choose packaging materials that can be recycled easily
The environmental impact of your packaging needs to be considered from the start. Factoring recycling into your packaging design is critical. Using materials that are easily and widely recycled is an instant win to help boost consumer recycling rates.
Optimising your packaging so it uses just the right amount of material and is as light as possible will also benefit the environment. You can even go one step further and consider if your packaging can be reused or repurposed, to create a circular economy.
Use clear, easy to understand labelling on your packaging
Using appropriate labelling on your packaging gives customers the information they need to recycle it. Our group’s survey emphasises how important it is to consumers. It’s a good idea to clearly mark the following on your packaging:
- What kind of material your packaging is made from
- If your packaging can be recycled at kerbside or at another location
- If your packaging can be reused or composted
It could be a good idea to sign up to a scheme like OPRL, which provides easy to understand and widely recognised recycling symbols that can be used across your packaging range.
Provide extra information about how to recycle your packaging
You could also go the extra mile, by adding information about how to recycle your packaging on your website. This might be particularly useful if you’re not confident your packaging is kerbside recyclable. A QR code printed on your packaging could direct customers to this information and help them recycle more easily.
This would also be a good opportunity to connect with customers about what your business is doing to improve its sustainability and support recycling.