As new regulations in Europe and the U.K. create the likelihood of levies for using nonrecyclable packaging, the fresh meat industry is under considerable pressure to change, and the stakes are high to get it right.
For decades, meat processors have relied on our high-performance barrier shrink bags and shrinkable rollstock for primary packaging, but today, the fact that these complex, multi-material structures can be difficult to recycle may have you looking for options.
That's why we're pleased to introduce the new, CRYOVAC brand recycle-ready standard presentation shrink bags and shrinkable rollstock, an expansion of our well-known, established portfolio of barrier shrink materials.
First in the industry to be laboratory-certified with global recyclability protocols, these new materials are 100% compatible with LDPE/RIC4 recycling streams and offer an EVOH barrier for enhanced product protection and performance.
For companies or governments currently paying or preparing to pay EPR fees for nonrecyclable plastic, a RIC4 certification may provide for a fee reduction versus a classification of RIC7.
* degree of recyclability will vary depending on scope and availability of collection, sortation, and recycling programs.
Source: Sealed Air
Sealed Air takes the position that for us to label a a package material or solution as recyclable, it must meet three criteria:
While our new "recycle-ready" shrink bags and rollstock have been laboratory certified to be compatible with LPDE/RIC4 recycling streams, there are very few options available in the world today for collection and sorting of LPDE.
We take the position, that if a packaging material or solution meets only one or two of these criteria but not all three, we designate the packaging material “recycle-ready,” including a disclaimer that states: degree of recyclability will vary depending on scope and availability of collection, sortation, and recycling programs.
As collection and sorting capability for LDPE continues to improve, and as new methods such as advanced / chemical recycling achieve global scale, we know the day will soon come when we can upgrade the claim for our recycle-ready materials to 100% recyclable.
Review the global protocols here:
When it comes to recyclability claims, plastic producers have two options – desktop/labeling certification and lab test certification. At Sealed Air, we use both, depending on the material, but when it comes to multilayer structures, we choose the lab.
Regulatory changes and the threat of EPR levies can lead any meat processor or retailer to make packaging decisions too quickly, but you need to stay informed and make the change that’s right for you.
The recycling infrastructure for post-consumer flexible plastics is still developing, as are the implementation schemes for regulations amongst the U.K. and E.U. member states. Until such time as a collection, sortation and recycling infrastructure is available to a minimum of 60% of the residents of a geographic region, we take the position that any claim stating “100% recyclable” on flexible plastic should be viewed with caution.
In the meantime, when you’re ready to learn more about our new recycle-ready materials, including how they will protect your products and help your sustainability position, contact us by using the form below.