A lack of coordination between packaging design and packaging recovery is a major obstacle in creating closed loop recycling systems for materials. To address this issue, the non-profit organization GreenBlue has released a suite of reports that provide technical guidance on designing packaging to be compatible with common recovery methods. GreenBlue initiated this project to provide similar guidance for all packaging material types.
Design for Recovery Guidelines for Aluminum, Steel, Glass, and Paper Packaging detail common recovery challenges and barriers for these four major packaging materials, as well as providing practical instructions on how attachments, inks, coatings, and colorants affect recyclability and compostability.
The guidelines were inspired by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers Design for Recyclability Guidelines, which outline which plastic bottles are compatible with today’s recycling technologies. The guidelines are the result of two years of research into various end-of-life infrastructures and technologies.
The “Closing the Loop” research project was funded through a grant awarded to GreenBlue by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and additional support from GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition – which promotes more effective material recovery systems by connecting packaging designers with available recovery options.
“The most important leverage point in a package’s recyclability is during the design phase. These guidelines help packaging designers understand the various end-of-life options so they can design accordingly,” said GreenBlue Project Manager Liz Shoch, who led the GreenBlue research and authored the guidelines.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
Packaging Strategies’ Sustainable Packaging Forum 2011
The 3 Stages of a Recycling Loop
Microsoft Selects Greys Harbor for 100% Recycled Paper
Paperless Future: BenchPrep is Taking Textbooks and Study Groups Online
How to Start a School Recycling Program
TerraCycle Reach a Major Milestone in Non-Recyclable Waste Diversion
Lego and Mattel’s Sustainable Packaging
PUMA’s Innovative Sustainable Packaging
Coke’s Zero Waste Carbon Neutral Sponsorship
Earth Day Business Resources