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Latest News Wrap-Up /

Rubber stamp for plastic tax and other 2021 headlines

That was the year that was: Plastic Tax rubber-stamped. Roadmap for recycling flexible packaging. How plastics have ‘saved the planet’. Critical questions about chemical recycling. Flexible packaging materials at a glance. Recycling sweep of the supermarkets. And much more… 

In Part 1 of our annual wrap-up:  We look back at some of the headlines we shared during 2021.



The details of the Plastic Packaging Tax were confirmed in the Chancellor’s budget announcement, including it taking effect from April 2022 at the rate of £200 per tonne. A policy paper, Introduction of Plastic Packaging Tax from April 2022, was then published.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics: Dr Chris DeArmitt said that any politician who voted for the Plastic Packaging Tax was too lazy, too stupid, or too corrupt. The world-class plastic materials scientist spoke exclusively to us about plastics' science, facts, and fiction.

3Rs of food packaging: The mantra for food packaging was Reduce, Reuse, Recycle if food loss and waste were to be avoided, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Navigating flexible roadmap: A report was released setting out a roadmap on how better to recycle flexible packaging.

Gripping a sticky challenge: The “sticky” practical issues and potential solutions for the collection, handling, sorting, and processing of plastic film were examined by Circular.

How plastics have ‘saved the planet’: Earth Day provided plenty of food for thought, not least in terms of the role of plastics in our lives.

Label change for PP-packaging: The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) said it was changing its labelling rules to include polypropylene (PP) films from January 1st 2022.

Links in the chain: The British Plastics Federation (BPF) published "Sustainability in the Plastics Supply Chain", the first of a series of sustainability publications, and its Recycling Roadmap, to provide a vision for drastically reducing plastic waste by 2030.

Food for thought: The need to satisfy more than appetites was identified as one of six megatrends shaping the food industry

Action Pact progress: The UK Plastics Pact Annual Report 2020/21 revealed considerable progress against each of its targets but with much more required to be done.

Alternatives haste could make waste: A new report highlighted that it is essential to ensure that potential alternative materials do not impact food waste in the drive to reduce plastic packaging.

Critical questions about chemistry: Chemical recycling has a vital role in the future waste management of plastics. Recycling Europe posed and answered 10 questions on the topic.

Euro 2030 cash injection: European plastics manufacturers announced plans for a significant increase in chemical recycling investment, from 2.6 billion Euros in 2025 to 7.2 billion Euros in 2030.

Down in the dumps: Greenpeace called on the government to stop the UK's plastic waste from being dumped on other countries.

Standard model: Audited certificates on recycled content in Faerch products set a new standard for transparency in sustainable food packaging.

You can’t myth it: 15 common recycling myths were debunked by Metro.

Buyers beware: Shoppers buying products online could be falling victim to greenwashing, the Consumer and Markets Authority (CMA) warned.  Their investigation suggested around 40 per cent of green claims made online could be misleading. 



CEFLEX published an easy-to-consult summary of the key materials used in flexible packaging structures, the barrier and other properties they provide, and their typical uses.

And setting the Twitter trends: The top tweeted packaging terms in quarter two of 2021 saw "flexible packaging" at number four, just behind "sustainability" and ahead of "plastics".




Supermarkets led the way by providing customers with shop-and-drop facilities to recycle their flexible packaging. We published a summary of the major UK supermarkets' recycling activity.

Help guide for stores: WRAP released a guide to help retailers simplify recycling for their customers.

Compostable campaign heats up: More than 50,000 people signed a petition on Change.org calling for all supermarkets to stop selling plastic bags and provide compostable bags.

Lidl less plastic: Lidl was set to replace all single-use fruit and vegetable plastic bags in its stores with compostable alternatives. And it announced it was one of the first retailers to trial Eco-Score labelling.

Bananas split from bags: Morrisons pledged to remove plastic bags from all of its bananas sold in its stores in what it said was a supermarket first.

Shelving plastic: Waitrose was ranked the number one supermarket for single-use plastic reductions, in a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace.




The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) released a report mapping out the state of the industry regarding the target for 100 per cent of packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Trans-Tasman team work: The Aussies and Kiwis formed a new partnership to ensure more soft plastics were collected and recycled, keeping them out of landfill.

Paving the way: Plastic bags and soft plastic packaging recovered from recycling points in Coles supermarkets in Australia was converted into a material used in concrete for pavements and kerbs.

Plastic post: Australia Post customers could recycle their soft plastics at post offices in New South Wales.

Have a break-through, have a KitKat: A KitKat wrapper was made partially with recycled soft plastic content, in what was claimed as an Australian first.

10 out of 10: Recycling organisation REDcycle celebrated its 10th anniversary in Australia. In that time, REDcycle had diverted more than three billion pieces of post-consumer soft plastics waste from landfill.


The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) in the US released a comprehensive report to guide its members with various roadmaps and proposals to help achieve the goals of a circular economy.




The art and science of lidding films for food packaging can transform your products' protection, presentation, and preservation and, ultimately, increase your profits. Our Business Unit Director John Shipley explored the topic with Food Business magazine.

From the KM team … stay safe, keep up the good work, and value plastic.

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