Innovation launch courses to help increase plastic recycling

Plastic Packaging

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are collaborating to support the UK’s plastics supply chain in creating more sustainable and easy-to-recycle packaging. As part of the initiative, two training courses have been developed for people throughout the plastics packaging supply chain, including brands, designers, manufacturers, retailers and even students, about how to use plastics more sustainably.

The joint initiative aims to drive the development of easy-to-recycle and resource efficient plastic packaging, which will help ensure more sustainable products are developed and used within the UK.

​Governments across the world and the global plastics industry are looking at ways to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment. The BPF’s latest training courses, funded by the UKRI, includes a range of environmental topics including the life cycle approach, causes and solutions to marine litter, the principles of eco-design, bioplastics, legislation and the waste hierarchy.

The latest course, ‘Plastic Packaging – Understanding the Environmental Issues’, aims to educate staff at retailers, brands and manufacturers about the core issues and complexities in the drive to reduce plastic packaging waste. Usually priced at £120, the course is available for £25 until the end of January 2021.

Philip Law, Director-General of the British Plastics Federation, states:

“In launching, the BPF has developed a platform to assist companies in educating their staff about key issues affecting their business. In recognition of this, we have developed our first two courses to provide technical insights and valuable knowledge to those interested in or involved with the sustainability of plastics packaging in an interesting and accessible way.”

Paul Davidson, Challenge Director, UKRI Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge states:

“It’s great to see the impact that our support for this BPF project is having in engaging brands and retailers to help reduce the environmental cost of plastic packaging. We’re keen to continue to drive innovation and ensure that the plastics packaging supply chain has the technical knowledge required to develop more sustainable packaging.”

The BPF has also released two new reports this week about sustainability and plastic recycling in the UK. Sustainability in the Plastics Supply Chain addresses key environmental issues in the plastics industry, providing examples and case studies of good practice, while the comprehensive Recycling Roadmap demonstrates how the UK recycling industry could expand in the next ten years, tripling the amount of plastic waste recycled in UK facilities, provided the right drivers are in place. The BPF projects that with significant investment and other key developments, far less plastic waste would need to be exported and plastic going to landfill could shrink to just 1% by 2030.

Brian Lodge, Design Manager at Berry, who helped create the course, states:

“It has been great to see these courses already used by brands and retailers across the UK, and I’m proud that sustainable design practices are being shared so widely. I’m hopeful that by continuing to improve the awareness and understanding around sustainable design and environmental issues, we will see more sustainable packaging developed and used in the future, and that businesses will integrate this thinking at every level of decision making.”

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