Just say ‘No’ to packaging that’s not designed to be recycled

Just say ‘No’ to packaging that’s not designed to be recycled

This National Recycling Day (Friday September 18) just say NO to packaging not designed to be recycled and send an important message to those brand and product owners who refuse to acknowledge how simple it is to minimise the impact of packaging on our planet.

This is the message from South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA) CEO, Charlotte Metcalf.

The Association requires all its members to actively encourage recycling, to participate in recycling initiatives in the neighbourhoods around their production facilities and elsewhere, and to follow PETCO’s Design for Recyclability guidelines when it comes to their packaging.

With millions of volunteers in 150 countries, World Clean-Up Day is the biggest one-day civic action against waste in human history. If you are keen to participate, visit www.petco.co.za or www.plasticsinfo.co.za to find out about the plastics industry’s events.

“If you don’t have the time to join in a full-day activation on Friday, take a stand that day and every day thereafter by ignoring products that are not packaged in recyclable materials.

“And, whenever you are shopping for bottled water, look for the SANBWA seal. SANBWA’s members are highly committed to environmental stewardship and must not only contribute to recycling initiatives in their areas but must comply with design-for-recycling design standards.

Design-for-recycling is a vital consideration, because an ill-conceived but well-meaning design can alter the bottle’s recycling status. For example, bottles with designs printed directly on to the plastic cannot be recycled. They may look good and you may think that doing so removes the label from the chain but the recyclers’ equipment cannot process the bottles because the ink ‘pollutes’ the recycling chain.”

The importance of design in the fight against pollution was highlighted by joint managing director of Extrupet, a SANBWA associate member, Chandru Wadhwani.

Asked by Select Solution Magazine Sub-Saharan Africa what his message as a recycler would be to packaging designers as they design and produce PET packaging, Wadhwani answered: “Just say no.”


Whether you’re the designer or the label producers or the converters making the bottles, be more conscious about the choices you make with the colour of the bottle or the removability of the label. I think the time and age have come when designers, label producers, bottle producers, and brand owners should be brave enough that – when they’re confronted with demand for something that is designed to fail – they should have the courage to say, I’m not going to take on that business. So that’s my message: Be bold enough to make a stand.”

Having been in the industry for 20 years, if there’s one thing that’s dawned on us, it’s how simple it is to fix this conundrum of recycling, whether it’s PET or anything else. And it all starts with design.”


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