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The introduction of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax has resulted in strong demand for recycled solutions from Berry Global’s UK flexible films business.
The business is a major supplier of industrial and consumer packaging solutions, producing a range of films, bags and sacks for a wide variety of markets including food & beverage, agriculture, horticulture, chemicals, healthcare, retail and construction.
In addition, Berry is also one of the UK’s leading recyclers of used plastic packaging, with three vertically integrated recycling and re-manufacturing factories. These recycle used plastics from a variety of sources including the agricultural, industrial and retail sectors. All of the recyclate generated is used to manufacture new polythene sacks, bags and films in Berry manufacturing plants.
Berry has been preparing for the introduction of the Plastics Packaging Tax for over two years. While the majority of its polythene films, sacks and bags used to pack non-food items can already be manufactured with a minimum 30% recycled content and thus avoid the tax, Berry has continually sought to further enhance its recycling processes.
For example, Berry is spearheading the growth of other initiatives to encourage the recycling of plastic film. Supermarket ‘Front of Store’ collection initiatives – where customers are encouraged to return their used plastic packaging for recycling – grew significantly during 2021. As a result, the company has become one of the first recyclers to reprocess this waste stream and use the recyclate to produce refuse sacks.
In addition, Berry has developed and launched its Sustane® range, a premium quality shrink film containing 30 percent recycled content. This delivers high levels of technical performance, allowing its use in a wide range of applications where previously prime polymer was used.
Berry is also continuing to invest in its recycling capacities. The company recently installed the first wash plant and recycling facility in the UK that is able to recycle both flexible and rigid plastics.
“The increased use of recycled plastics is a key part of our Impact 2025 sustainability strategy and our move towards a circular and net zero economy,” comments Mike Baxter, External Affairs Director, Berry Global Flexible Films UK. “At the same time, it is vital that the recyclate is able to deliver the same levels of quality and performance as virgin polymer.
“We will continue our sustainability leadership in the development and sourcing of high-quality recyclate both to help our customers satisfy legislative requirements such as the Plastics Packaging Tax and also meet their own specific sustainability objectives.”
For more information on Berry Global’s Sustainability goals, visit: