Research Task – WRAP

A. Who are Wrap and what do they do?

We were set up in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK and to create a market for recycled materials.

As understanding grew that ‘waste’ is actually ‘stuff with value’ and that wasting resources made no environmental or commercial sense, governments across the UK increased efforts to tackle these issues.

B. Download the excellent Pack guide: A guide to Packaging Eco Design at:

D. Look at section 4: Design for Re-Use, Recycling and Recovery.

Describe 3 key Considerations within ‘design for re-use’.

– Ensure that the packaging is designed for and is robust enough for re-use.

– Check that your business partners will also treat the packaging as re-usable and will return it as appropriate, or that collection arrangements are in place to enable private end-users to return it.

–  Ensure that facilities for cleaning, repair or reconditioning are available if this is necessary before the packaging can be re-used.

F. Describe 3 key considerations within ‘design for recycling’.

– Minimise the use of substances or materials that might have a negative influence on the quality of the recycled material. For

example, do you need a colour tint on your plastic bottle or could you achieve the same effect with an eye-catching label?

– Ensure that you don’t make the packaging incompatible with the recycling process if you change your raw material sourcing or

your manufacture, converting and filling processes.

– Ensure that you don’t create new compatibility problems if you change the coatings, adhesives, inks, labels, closures and other sealing materials that were selected at the design stage.

G. Describe how effective Metal, Glass, Paper and Board and Plastics are and which of these may achieve the ‘best’ award for recyclability

Metal – packaging, both steel and aluminium, has a high recycled content, and this has no effect on functional performance.

Glass – packaging also has a high recycled content and this has no effect on functional performance. In recent years there has been an issue about what colour of glass to specify because, owing mainly to our wine consumption, the UK imports a lot of green glass, but we need relatively little for our own production.

Paper and Board- packaging for non-food contact use contains high levels of recycled content. However, paper packaging with a high recycled content may have to be heavier than packaging made from virgin fibres. This is because each time fibres are recycled, they lose strength so more fibres are needed to achieve the same level of protection

Plastics – packaging has seldom contained recycled content mainly  for safety reasons, especially for food contact applications. However, technology has moved on and it is now possible to use some recycled plastics for food packaging. This is a fast-moving area and it is worth checking with reprocessors, WRAP and the British Plastics Federation to find out what’s available.


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