Supporting material recycling through design for recycling is the preferred Eco Design approach in all regions with well-established collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures for packaging waste. This approach may be also be taken to mark packaging as recycling-ready for the future.
At the system level, this means that if there are no or insufficient collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures and schemes already in place, they need to be implemented to ensure collection of the packaging for separation, followed by specific sorting and recycling steps. Additional incentives for the consumer such as take-back systems or deposit systems may support such efforts with increased return rates.
At the packaging level, it is a question of designing the packaging so that it is:
- Collectable by consumers – meaning it is clearly identifiable as plastic packaging by the consumer
- Detectable by sorting plants – meaning it ends up in the sorting fraction designated for recycling
- Recyclable by state-of-the-art recycling technologies – so that secondary materials can be produced according to market requirements.