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The Recycling Association has named Pringles and Lucozade in a list of products that pose the biggest challenge for reuse.
The more materials used in packaging, the harder it is for recycling machines to separate them.
The Pringles packaging features a metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid and a foil lined cardboard sleeve.
Lucozade’s bottle is recyclable but it’s also enclosed in a sleeve which is made from a different type of plastic.
Simon Ellin, CEO of the UK Recycling Association, discussed the worst recycling offenders:
- Pringles (and products with similar packaging): “Number One recycling villain. These things are a… nightmare. Impossible to separate the parts.”
- Lucozade Sport (and drinks with similar packaging): “Number Two villain. This bottle is so confusing to computer scanners that it has to be picked by hand off the recycling conveyor. Then it often just gets chucked away.”
- Cleaning spray bottles: “Labels often say the product is recyclable, but that’s only the body. The spray has two or three other polymers and a metal spring. It’s almost impossible.”
- Black plastic food trays: “Supermarkets think black trays make meat look redder so they colour the tray black but that makes it worthless for recycling. Also, if someone leaves the torn film on the tray, with a bloody card below it, we just have to chuck it anyway.”
- Whisky packaging: “It grieves me to say this as one who likes his whisky but whisky causes us problems. The metal bottom and top to the sleeve, the glass bottle, the metal cap… very hard for us.”
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