Instigated as an environmental opt-out benefit which customers can decline if requested, PCR10 offers a more sustainable packaging solution.
Jonathan Powell, Sales Director at Spectra Packaging said,
“PCR10 is a hugely important initiative for us as we continue to take environmentally friendly measures as a responsible plastics manufacturer. When looking at sustainability options for plastic packaging, manufacturers typically leave it in the hands of the brand owners and retailers. At Spectra we have decided to take the lead, shifting the responsibility in a scheme designed to see as many of our customers as possible using more environmental materials. Moving forward our customers will need to actively opt out if they do not wish to have post-consumer recycled plastics used in the manufacture of their packaging”.
Available in levels up to 100% if desired, Spectra’s PCR is sourced in the UK whenever possible to minimise carbon footprint. Moreover, because Spectra work closely with its suppliers, they can track the recycled materials back to allow traceability, something Jonathan sees as hugely important.
“Tracing the honesty and integrity of the materials we use is vital in ensuring they are what they claim to be. Using predominantly domestic suppliers also means we can reuse waste generated in the UK, minimising unnecessary additional carbon footprint”.
What is PCR?
Post-Consumer Recycled or ‘PCR’ plastics are commonly made from single use packaging such as milk containers and drinks bottles. The production of PCR begins with the collection and sorting of these plastics in commercial and residential recycling programs, ensuring their re-use and avoiding sending them to landfill sites. The discarded plastics are ground, washed, dried and pelletised ready to be used again.
“Because PCR reuses fossil fuel-based plastics, the recycling of these materials into new packaging doesn’t require any further depletion of fossil fuels which provides a closed loop packaging solution”.
Other responsible measures
The introduction of PCR10 is just part of the story with Spectra undertaking a raft of responsible measures aimed at minimising their impact as a manufacturer.
For example, the company can also provide sugar-based biopolymer packaging, a truly recyclable material that has the same chemical properties as conventional HDPE & PET with no difference in performance and appearance to the end result.
As well as providing environmental materials such as PCR and biopolymer, Spectra also capture all their Post Industrial Recycled (PIR) waste, ensuring none of it ends up in landfill sites. Reintroducing up to 30% of used PIR plastics back into the manufacturing process, Spectra use this waste to make new bottles whenever possible.
Spectra also undertake a number of internal measures including the banning of single-use items such as disposable plastic cups throughout the factory, the use of FSC certified recycled and recyclable cardboard for sample and packing boxes and multi-use reclaimed pallets for transporting their products. Other internal measures include using the latest machinery specifically aimed at maximising energy efficiency.
Spectra has also recently signed up as a member of Operation Clean Sweep®, an environmental initiative endorsed by the British Plastics Federation committed to ensuring plastic pellets are contained on-site and do not end up in our rivers or seas.
Jonathan went on to say,
“We feel that as a responsible manufacturer we have a duty of care to constantly assess and review our working practices whilst exploring sustainable alternatives for customers wishing to make a difference too. PCR10 is the latest of several initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of our products and reducing our carbon footprint. Although we are proud of our efforts so far, we will continue to evaluate other measures as we strive to be a genuinely responsible company”.