Recycle soft plastic from home using pouch innovation
The Roll ‘n’ Recycle program, initially created by PREP Design, is based on the idea that consumers could be part of the packaging recycling solution by rolling ‘semi-rigid’ plastic pouches into a 3D shape so they could be suitable for Australia’s kerbside recycling systems.
O F Packaging has been working in conjunction with PREP Design to create a single-polymer 100% recyclable pouch packaging with a pre-attached label that is suitable for the program.
Basically, how it works is the flexible packaging is turned from soft plastic into a 3D semi-rigid plastic ready for kerbside recycling when the user rolls up the pouch and sticks it together with the label. A ‘semi-rigid’ plastic monopolymer film is one that is at least 80 micron thick, keeps its shape and is self-supporting once it has been rolled up in a cylinder.
PREP Design founder and CEO Anthony Peyton said: “Whilst various programs are already minimising landfill, semi-rigid plastics continue to be a problem and the introduction of Roll ‘n’ Recycle enables households and businesses to effectively dispose of these plastics with the convenience of the kerbside recycling bins without changing the resource recovery process.
“We are proud to bring such an exciting and innovative program to the recycling landscape,” Peyton said.
A founding partner of the Roll ‘n’ Recycle program, O F Packaging has been involved in the program’s trials in 2019 at Recycled Plastics Australia (RPA) in Adelaide, which confirmed that the pouches could be successfully captured as part of the ‘lightweights’ stream. The team also confirmed this view with Visy rPlastics in Smithfield, NSW, and confirmed the demand from Plastic Forests for the recovered lightweights.
With that knowledge, another trial was conducted at the Suez Spring Farm Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in June 2020 to assist in validating the claim that monopolymer pouches and other semi-rigid films can be recycled via kerbside when the consumer rolls up the pouch/film as directed.
To ensure clear communication to consumers, relevant information is on the pack, in addition to the label to ensure the process is followed correctly. For the Roll ‘n’ Recycle certification to be used on packaging, the following requirements must be met:
- Brand owners need to ensure they partner with a manufacturer who supplies packaging that is monopolymer “recycle ready” and satisfies Roll ‘n’ Recycle’s technical and style guidelines;
- Manufacturers must include the Roll ‘n’ Recycle sticker and logo on approved packaging; and
- Consumers must follow the directions outlined on packaging by rolling and applying the supplied sticker where indicated.
O F Packaging Managing Director Joe Foster said: “The Roll ‘n’ Recycle program is something both ourselves and our customers are very interested in, because we’re all looking for more sustainable packaging solutions and innovations that can be utilised across the market.
“Every brand owner wants the highest quality of packaging protection for their product, but that packaging also needs to be recyclable. We are passionate about the program and have been involved from the early days because we genuinely think it’s a big step forward in diverting semi-rigid plastics from landfill.”
The Roll ‘n’ Recycle program has been under development by Anthony Peyton, Director of PREP Design since registering the trademark in Australia in 2016. He has subsequently registered the mark in the European Union, USA, New Zealand, South Korea and China.
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