National Recycling Week 2019: Meet Your Recycling Goals For Shrink Film!

The 23rd to 29th September 2019 marks the 17th annual Recycling Week and this year’s official theme is ‘Recycling. It’s in our own hands’. As a supplier of plastic packaging, which is very much in the spotlight right now, this week is a great opportunity for us at YPS to shed a light on why and how we are pledging our support to the recycling cause.

Doing Our Bit

At YPS we fully understand that it is our duty to do everything we can to empower and encourage the consumers of our shrink films to correctly recycle them at every opportunity. Over the last twelve months we have:

  • Made and maintained a plastic pledge: to supply only recyclable films.
  • Joined forces with OPRL in February 2019 to enable the dissemination of clear and consistent on-pack recycling messages on our customer’s wrapped products.
  • Regularly created content and promoted discussion to improve awareness and knowledge of recycling issues through a number of channels including exhibitions, social media, whitepapers and face-to-face contact with our customers.

There is yet more to be done by ourselves and our peers in this global challenge, however what is significant about this year’s recycling theme is the acknowledgement that there also has to be a level of personal and individual responsibility by end-consumers. The UK-wide goal is to create a nation of recyclers and this is only possible with the public’s full support. Positive intent and actions from manufacturers and suppliers are now trickling down through down through most supply chains but this campaign reminds us that ultimately the action of recycling in is everybody’s own hands.

Whilst this year’s theme sheds light on the role of the consumer, at YPS we have been keen to improve on the steps we have already taken to push the recycling cause even further. We can now confirm that we have added PCW films to our existing range of virgin polymer films and in time for this year’s recycling week, we are now offering baling machines to all of our customers to collect industrial waste for recycling purposes!

Shrink Films With Recycled Content

YPS are now able to supply shrink films with as much as 50% PCW (post-consumer waste) content, truly putting the principles of the closed loop economy into action. This means that films that would otherwise have become waste after consumption are now being re-granulated back into shrink films at our manufacturing sites to begin the cycle again. This reduces the global burden on our finite resources.

These exceptional films are now available with either 30% or 50% recycled content depending on customer preference and exact application. Whilst 50% PCW films of course offer the greenest credentials, there is some slight compromise to the quality of the film in terms of glossiness or sealing properties. As such, films with higher proportions of recycled content are more suited to lower speed machines.

Bale-ing Out Waste

To meet our full circle supply goals, we are thrilled to announce that we are now offering a complete waste collection service through the use of baler machines. YPS can install a baler into the factory or warehouse of any customer looking to reduce the volumes of plastic offcuts that are generated in the shrink or stretch wrapping processes. Conveniently, the waste wheels on our sealers collect surplus film that falls outside the dimensions of wrapped packs and this can then easily and quickly be fed into the vertical baling machine by an operator. Once a cubic tonne of plastic waste has stockpiled, this is collected by YPS and used once again in the manufacturing process to create renewed films. This waste collection infrastructure demonstrates yet another way that YPS and our customers can bring the recycling mission into ‘our own hands’.

Any customers looking to take advantage of our waste collection service will be wholly supported by YPS through the entire process as we supply, install and maintain the equipment.

Redefining ‘Recyclable’: Important News For Users Of Plastic Flexibles

At YPS we also wanted to use this year’s National Recycling Week as an opportunity to draw attention to imminent changes that are afoot in terms of what it means to be truly ‘recyclable’ in the eyes of OPRL. Products have long been labelled as ‘recyclable’ if the material can be reused as another secondary product or in a further application at the end of it’s useful life, instead of becoming waste. For our industry, this meant that shrink films were deemed ‘recyclable’ if they could be reincarnated as waste sacks, household bin bags, or even plastic benches (we have really seen this!).

However, under new tighter rules due to come into force, only those products that can be made back into their original form will soon be classed as recyclable. The material has to be able to be reformed back into its primary resource rather than into any downstream application. As shown in our recent blog post ‘Which Shrink Film Is Most Environmentally Friendly? Bio-Sourced, Compostable or Biodegradable?’ this new definition sits more comfortably within WRAP’s guidelines of a full circle economy.

With this in mind, we are pleased to confirm that all YPS shrink films, in line with our existing plastic pledge, will continue to be classified as fully recyclable by OPRL. Our films are able to be melted and repelletised / re-granulated back into shrink films, thereby offering all of our customers increased peace of mind that they continue to do what is best for the planet when it comes to plastic packaging.

The Future

Recycling should become a way of life, not just a part of one virtuous week! If we continue to implement positive recycling changes together with our consumers to enable the recycling of more plastic, we can make significant improvements by next year’s event. If you’re looking to implement improvements too, speak to our friendly team today by calling 01924 441355.

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