- PAC Next, a division of the PAC Packaging Consortium, released a report that lists the top 15 most difficult-to-recover packaging types, including five newly added materials: plastic bottle caps, glass containers, plastic films, labels on PET thermoforms, and polycoated containers.
- The report is a follow-up of a similar 2014 study that listed 10 troublesome packaging types: black plastic containers, colored opaque PET, compostable plastics, corrugated trays with plastic film around them, full shrink wrap labels, hot beverage polycoated cups, metallized tubes, multi-layered laminates, non-PET clamshells, and single-serve coffee pods.
- In addition to listing packaging, the report—overseen by PAC NEXT Co-Chair Daniel Lantz and Procter & Gamble Packaging Sustainability Section Head Keith Fanta—offers methods and recommendations to improve the recovery of such materials, according to Resource Recycling.
The addition of five new materials to this year's report reflects the constant changes in recyclable materials and the overall challenges associated with growing recovery rates. One specific addition to the list, glass packaging, has proven to be a difficult material to process in many regions across the nation. Most recently, Waste Management removed glass recycling collection from its hometown contract in Houston—a decision that garnered some negative attention from the area's glass processors.
"With packaging changing constantly, it can be difficult for recycling facility operators to maintain, or preferably increase, recyclables recovery rates," Daniel Lantz, COO at Green By Nature EPR and a co-chairman of Pac Next, stated in a press release. "Pac Next took the initiative to develop a guide to help program operators and packaging designers understand the opportunities and limitations associated with the top 15 packaging challenges found in the marketplace today."
New innovations, such as the development of biobased plastics, may be crucial in assisting packaging recovery rates. According to a July 2015 report, biobased plastics will see a CAGR growth of 68.25% from 2014 to 2019.