Recycled content packaging FAQs

Recycled content packaging FAQs

Since the Plastic Packaging Tax was introduced back in April, not only have we seen an increase in interest and demand for products with recycled content, but we’ve also been inundated with questions. Here we have answered some of our most frequently asked recycled content questions…

How does recycled content compare to virgin film cost wise?
As it’s a new product, stretch film made with recycled content plastic does generally have a higher price. However, there are ways to look at reducing costs when switching stretch films – are you using the right gauge? Are the settings on your machine optimal? Although a roll of film may look like it costs more, in the long run, it may not work out higher when in use. Plus, it also means you are exempt from the £200 per tonne tax liability, so there are lots to factor in rather than simply looking at the product cost. If you’d like to know how switching to recycled content stretch film would compare to your current film, speak to us today and we can calculate this for you.  

My current supplier says it is impossible to make PCR machine film
It most certainly is not. In fact we have supplied plenty of machine film already, which is being used on packaging lines nationally. We’ve even developed a nano machine film made with recycled content (PCR) – you can read more about that here. 

Won’t I use more plastic?
The aim of introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax was to reduce the amount of virgin plastic being used, and to stimulate the growth of recycling technologies, and not ultimately to use less plastic.

Compared with standard nano films, which can be stretched up to 400%, then you could be using more plastic. However, you may currently be using more standard film than you need, and switching may result in less plastic. One product we have developed is a nano film made with recycled content. Therefore you will not only be using 30% less virgin plastic, but the nano technology will mean you are using much less plastic. Speak to us today about this film.

What’s to stop the threshold changing form 30% to 50% for example?
The Plastic Packaging Tax was first discussed in 2018 and not implemented until 2022. So we don’t believe any major changes to the tax will happen overnight. Furthermore, it’s key that there is enough supply of recycled content material (PCR) and also that stretch film manufacturers are able to create quality films if the 30% threshold is increased.  

What are the difference between standard and recycled?
The difference is solely the make up of the film – recycled content film has 30% recycled content material, rather than 100% virgin material that is in standard films. We have a useful video talking about recycled content stretch film – you can find that here. 

Will it work on my current machine?
Yes – our films work on all standard pallet wrapping machines. However, for optimum performance, we would advise ensuring you are using the right film for the job, and the machine is optimised for the film being used. This is something we can easily help with, if you make the switch to recycled content film.  

Will the price of recycled content go up?
In the long term, the purpose of the tax is to stimulate recycling technologies here in the UK. Ultimately, the more impetus in recycling would lead to recycled content becoming more widely available and therefore cheaper in price. However, with the price rises and inflation that is being witnessed currently, the prices of everything are uncertain. With price uncertainty, we are happy to stock and store your goods, which is one way a number of our customers have beaten price rises. Speak to us today if this is something that would benefit you.

What products do you stock with recycled content?
We have a range of products that are made with recycled content material. This includes hand wrap, machine film and polythene sheets. You can see the ever-expanding range here.

Do you do recycled content stretch film in varying colours and thicknesses?
We most certainly do. Our recycled content films come in a range of thicknesses, for hand and machine application, and our hand wraps also can be created in a variety of colours. If you have specific requirements for your stretch film and pallet wrap, then speak to one of our team today about how we can accommodate your packaging needs.

Can you do heat shrink with recycled content?
We sure can. Although not in our standard range, we can also look at bespoke packaging product requirements with recycled content too. Heat shrink film is one of the bespoke products we can source with recycled content, so speak to us today if you have a requirement for this product.

Do recycled content products have a shelf life?
Our high-quality products have the same shelf life as our standard product range. The performance is in no way affected by the reduction in virgin material.