Opinion: The Challenges of Wish-Cycling

It’s great to see the challenge of wish-cycling being discussed.

It is a real issue because the recycling principle has always been to engage the consumer albeit with a nationally complicated collection infrastructure. Packaging often uses a mix of materials, and asking the consumer to try and work out if it’s recyclable is a step too far.

Part of the answer is to accept the current constraints in the collection, sorting and separation of waste by only providing packaging that uses material constructions that meet usage functionality but are much more easily separated.

However, the wish for current material constructions to be economically recycled is not sensible nor borne out by experience. Also, the move to chemical recycling to answer this issue has its place but is expensive and is not easy with heterogeneous feedstock to gain a clean material separation.

We must therefore introduce new materials into the packaging design which allow normal use but multi end of life options including easier separation in existing facilities. This way, the weight of expectation on and from the consumer is mitigated

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