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Recycled content plays a vital role in the future of plastics

The Plastic Packaging Tax is now being enforced in the UK, and affected businesses will have to pay the penalties or meet the material requirements. The tax on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% PCR (post-consumer recycled content) came into force on April 1.

The tax will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne, and it is believed that some businesses may initially consider that price to be more cost-effective than investing in PCR for their packaging.

However, the actions of competitors, customer preferences, and corporate sustainability goals will also be influential primary factors when businesses consider the value of using PCR in their packaging.

In addition, a greater long-term consideration will be the global circular economy, and the vital role PCR plays in meeting the targets of the various regional plastics pacts.

For example, beyond the UK, one of the four targets of the ANZPAC Plastics Pact – covering Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – is to have an average of 25% recycled content in plastic packaging across the region.

The US Plastics Tax is targeting an average of 30% recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging by 2025. Similarly, the European Plastics Pact is aiming for at least 30% of recycled plastics being used in new products and packaging. Here in the UK, our target is an average of 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging.

So, tax or no tax, PCR has an essential role in future steps towards greater sustainability and achieving circularity.

Designed for recyclability

KM can provide customers worldwide with a comprehensive offering to meet their PCR requirements.

To meet the growing demand in the UK and elsewhere, we have launched PCR product solutions across the following ranges:

  • K Peel
    Offering greater convenience with peelable lidding films.
  • K Foil
    The perfect partner for aluminium trays.
  • K Seal
    A secure packaging solution that reduces the risk of leaks.

All of the product specifications that contain PCR (derived from mechanical processes) meet the minimum of 30% content required to avoid the UK tax.

The range of products has both peelable and weld seal PET PCR lidding films. And there are solutions suitable for sealing to CPET, Mono CPET, APET, RPET, PP, and foil trays (uncoated and lacquered).

In addition, antifog is available, and the PCR films are vegan-suitable.

Our mechanical PCR lidding film grades are all suitable for chilled and “remove before heating” applications.

Another benefit is that most of our PCR products are classed as 95%+ mono material specifications and are designed for recyclability.

Under current legislation, we can also offer chemically-derived PCR solutions in our K Peel and K Foil ranges suitable for microwave and oven heating. However, chemically-derived PCR solutions will not provide any tax relief. It’s understood this is under review.

Using PCR materials for your packaging will reap the long-term benefits of creating a positive impact on the environment and allow you to gain from the value of attracting customers who are increasingly sensitive to sustainability matters.

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