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UK Legislation

Packaging Waste – What you need to know

Here in the UK, businesses, households and public and private bodies together recycle and re-process about 60 per cent – or six million tonnes – of the waste they produce every year.

It’s good news for our environment, as it is helping the UK meet strict international targets, but it also benefits businesses such as yours, as you can save considerable amounts of money by cutting the amount of packaging you throw away.

But did you know that if your business’s turnover exceeds £2million and it handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging per year, you have to meet certain responsibilities under the Packaging Waste Regulations.

Together, these stipulate that, by 2017, 79 per cent of all paper, glass, aluminium, steel, plastic and wood must be recovered, and 72.7 per cent of these products recycled

Your business must also prove that it has disposed of its waste responsibly, which in the cases of the products listed above means buying what are known as Packaging Waste Recycling Notes from the suitably licensed reprocessors or exporters you use to dispose of these products.

Various companies run packaging waste compliance schemes designed to help ensure you meet these requirements. Using one of these, you can get the proof you need that all your eligible waste has been recovered and recycled.

To stay up-to-date with the latest legislation, and get an insight to how it affects your business, see www.slingsby.com/legislation-watch.htm

Packaging Products at SlingsbyPackaging Guide: How To Package Goods

The Customer Experience All Wrapped Up.

Whenever you package a product, it becomes a representation of your organisation and often after a customer places an order with you, the next time you will have the opportunity to impress them is when they see the product and its packaging.

A package that turns up ripped or squashed never sets a good impression and increases the chances of the product being damaged which ultimately costs you time and money so it’s always worth making sure your packaging is up to scratch.

However, there’s a fine line between packaging a product so it arrives at its destination safely and using so much packaging that it becomes uneconomical and has a negative impact on the environment, which can also reflect badly on your business.

Sending out products in oversized boxes often results in void space that needs filling and means more space is required to store and transport the package. It’s therefore more efficient to wrap products that are not likely to break.

It’s also interesting to note that a recent survey of online shoppers found the majority of people value the functional benefits of a package, such as ease of opening and whether it’s readily recyclable or reusable, more than its appearance.

Security is another major concern, but there is an extensive range of innovative solutions to address the issue such as tamper-evident protection seals and tamper-proof tape. Finally shrink wrapping packages will also help to keep them secure as well as acting as an additional level of protection.

Your Guide to Packaging Basics.

Protective Packaging

Boxes / Cartons - One of the most cost effective packaging options, available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For even more protection double-walled cartons are also available.

Void Fill - Used inside a container to fill empty space so items do not move in transit.

Bubble Wrap - Extremely effective at protecting fragile items without adding significant weight or cost.

Impact Protection – Foam or plastic edge and corner protection.


Polypropylene – The most cost effective strapping, it is flexible, lightweight and easy to handle. Ideal for light bundling and palletizing.

Polyester – Premium strength and durability, ideal for use on heavier loads. Polyester retains tension longer than polypropylene and has a more "elastic" effect for keeping packages tighter.

Steel – Ideal for heavier applications, steel strapping provides extra strength to the palletized load.

Stretch Wrapping

Cost effective and easy to use. Stretch wrap comes in a choice of strengths and can be black rather than the traditional clear, which is better for confidential or valuable items.

Shrink Wrapping

Provides tamper-evident protection. After the item is wrapped, heat is applied to make the wrap shrink to fit. Because it creates such a tight seal and keeps moisture out, shrink wrap can also be used to package perishable food items.


Sustainability Is The Way Forward:

Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of global environmental issues and are changing their buying habits accordingly. These days, it’s ‘cool to care’, and consumers are actively seeking out semiotic signs on packaging that manufacturers have a green conscience (but are wary of green washing). Understanding how commitment to sustainability can be communicated in an engaging way on the packaging is key to attracting, relating to, and keeping consumers.

‘Sustainable Packaging: Myth or Reality’, an expert white paper by PWC, explains how sustainable practice has become essential to the perception and identity of a brand.

It seems that sustainability is no longer an optional add-on – it’s an essential part of future business planning for those in the packaging industry. The complete story of a product is becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions – where does it come from, how was it made and what are its recycling credentials?

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