At what point is packaging recyclable?
Companies are faced with the challenge of choosing the right packaging to meet the needs of their customers while promoting responsible consumption as a company.
Paper packaging (kraft paper) is gaining popularity due to its ecological appearance and the plastic shaming that is currently taking place worldwide.
Despite the high desire of end consumers to offer more paper packaging, the devil is in the detail. Especially when a plastic or aluminium layer is used inside the packaging to achieve good barrier properties. Because without such a layer, the product content often cannot be protected.
As soon as the barrier layer exceeds 5% of the complete packaging mass, this is also referred to as a non-recyclable packaging solution.
On the other hand, paper packaging with a plastic barrier layer of less than 5% is recyclable. However, these also have a lower barrier function and can therefore only be used for certain products.
The use of mono-materials simplifies the recyclability enormously. Packaging made of monomaterials consists of only one material and is therefore 100% recyclable.
PE is often used in combination with EVOH (ethyl vinyl alcohol) to make products last longer and to avoid loss of flavour. As long as the EVOH content remains below 5%, this film is still recyclable and contributes to the circular economy.
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