New Better Packaging badge takes over from Recyclable Packaging


Half of Britons feel guilty about the amount of plastic they use according to a recent survey and we hear the same from our users across the country.

As a result we are getting tougher on supermarket packaging with our new “Better Packaging” badge which will replace Recyclable Packaging. The main changes are:

1 – if any of the main bits of the packaging are not recyclable the product cannot get the badge. This is in contrast to Recyclable Packaging where a badge was awarded if any of the packaging was recyclable.

2 – as a result of this a large number of products will not be awarded the badge which got the Recyclable Packaging badge. The main reason is films – the plastic that wraps so much of our fruit and veg or acts as a cover on ready meals. So, changing to products with the Better Packaging badge is a practical way to start cutting back on supermarket plastic.

3 – this should mean more going in the recycling and less going to landfill! It will also mean less plastic too.

4 – ease for consumers is an important part of Better Packaging. Clear, concise information from manufacturers about what to do with packaging is important.

With 69% of people thinking that companies should be required by law to use eco-friendly packaging we hope this is a useful move forward. Let us know if you’ve got any feedback or see ways we can improve.

Overall if we all buy products with less packaging and recycle everything we can, then we’ll cut waste to landfill, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

What we cannot do yet


It’s also important for us to highlight what we cannot do yet. In these situations, common sense and some additional research by our users is the way forward.

1 – Whilst packaging that is “Widely recycled “is better than check local we still include the latter. The reason is simple – we don’t know where you are! Recyclenow can help you find out.

2 – it’s not plastic free. Many people want to go plastic free which remains a great option for cutting back on pollution and unnecessary waste. However, we have taken the approach that recyclable plastic is a good first step which is actionable and practical. Over time we hope companies will provide more widely recycled plastic and also start using more plastic from recycled materials. As they do we can keep raising the bar on better packaging.

3 – whilst we may know the type of packaging it’s very hard for us to know if there is just too much of it. The human eye remains the best technology available for this sense check!

4 – sometimes companies provide incomplete packaging information. As a result we cannot analyse the pack in full only those parts which we have information on. This may mean that some products get a badge they don’t deserve. In these situations please contact us or the company to ask them to use clear, complete information.


Further details


Some additional points for people who are really into packaging:

1 – We don’t exclude a product from getting a badge if it has some very small components which are not recyclable. This includes clips, collars, caps, ribbons and labels. Over time we’d like to see these as recyclable too but, practically, this would make supermarket shopping extremely challenging!

2 – in almost all supermarket aisles there are options for more sustainable, better packaging. Although our criteria have got tougher they are still very possible for companies to achieve.

3 – the Plastics Pact aims to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 so our moves are in line with where the industry wants to go. We just want it to happen quicker!