Major brands collaborate for flexible laminated packaging recycling trials

In an innovative public-private partnership, Anthesis LRS  is leading a project to assess the feasibility of including flexible laminated packaging, such as food and drink pouches, pet food pouches and toothpaste tubes, in existing household recycling schemes and recovering the aluminium from this packaging.

Funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Action Based Research programme, following a scoping exercise in 2014, Anthesis LRS is managing and coordinating trials, with cross-sector collaboration from Nestlé UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola Enterprises.  Having commenced on 16 February, the nine month trials are being supported by Bracknell Forest Council, Calderdale Council and the London Borough of Hounslow.  The collections and initial sorting are being managed by SUEZ environnement, and technology developers Enval will recycle the material at their demonstration facility at the Alconbury Enterprise Zone, near Huntingdon.

Dee Moloney, Director, Anthesis LRS, said: “Flexible laminated packaging, such as food and drink pet food pouches, is becoming increasingly widespread and the global market is anticipated to continue to grow year on year.  Therefore, if these trials prove that viable collection, sorting and recycling schemes can be implemented, it will support the increased flow of materials into the secondary markets, establishing another step towards a more circular economy in the UK.”

Different methods of engaging with residents and collecting the material at the kerbside are being tested and the results of the trials will help determine best practice to increase the amount of flexible laminated packaging collected and recycled in England.  They will also provide insight into how different communications approaches, consumer behaviour and brands influence collection models across different demographics and locations in London, Berkshire and Yorkshire.

Stuart Hayward-Higham, Technical Development Director at the UK recycling and waste recovery division of SUEZ environnement, said: “The outcomes of the trials will enable project partners and other industry stakeholders to evaluate the potential to include flexible laminated packaging in mainstream recycling collections in the UK, which SUEZ environnement is keen to explore.”

Enval’s technology will be used to treat the packaging collected, separating the plastic and aluminium.

Dr Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, Managing Director, Enval, said: “These trials are providing an important opportunity to prove that we can successfully capture and recycle the valuable aluminium, as well as recover the plastics as a fuel oil product.  This will present a solid business case for Enval’s microwave-induced pyrolysis technology to be bolted on to existing materials facilities and help increase levels of recycling across the UK.”

Resource Management Minister Dan Rogerson said: “Defra is pleased to support this project, which is part of the government’s wider approach to enabling businesses to be more sustainable.
“I look forward to seeing the results of these innovative studies which could lead to us extracting more value from our resources, saving energy and supporting further growth in the UK’s recycling and remanufacturing industries. Together this will build a fairer society and stronger economy.”


Notes to editor:

Additional quotes
Alison Ingle, Group Packaging Manager, Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “Flexible laminated packaging is important to help protect our products and we are keen to support innovation to increase its recycling.  In this role, we are helping to communicate to the public what can be recycled, using some of our brands which use laminated packaging, like Nescafé and Felix.  We hope our brands can help influence the public’s perception of recycling and encourage positive behaviour.”

Giustina Diana, Recycling Manager GB, Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “We are always keen to support initiatives that provide sustainable solutions for the packaging from our products.  We are keen that our Capri-Sun brand supports the trial and helps people to identify the very specific types of packaging they are being asked to recycle.”

Further information
For more information, high resolution pictures or to arrange an interview, please contact Tim Duke on 07940 103 415 or

About the trials
Up to 260 households in each local authority area (Bracknell Forest Council, London Borough of Hounslow and Calderdale Council) have been provided with appropriate communications, a caddy and caddy bags to participate in kerbside collections for nine months (from February to November 2015).  Bracknell Forest participants were recruited through directly engaging members of its recycling incentive scheme, living in specific areas, by email and an online survey. Target material is being collected in the caddy bags from participating households on the same day as their fortnightly comingled recycling. In Calderdale, households in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, were selected and given the option to opt out if they chose not to participate. Target material is being collected from participating households as part of its weekly kerbside-sorted recycling collections. A collection point has also been installed at the Sowerby Bridge Household Recycling Centre, providing access to participate for all Calderdale residents.
In the London Borough of Hounslow, households across Chiswick Riverside, Hounslow West, Syon, Heston West and Feltham West were engaged and encouraged to opt in to participate, using communications materials and door canvassing. Target material is being collected from participating households as part of its weekly kerbside-sorted recycling collections.

About the Defra Fund
Developing and trialling new, more resource efficient product offerings (Recovery of Aluminium from Flexible Packaging) - EV0547
This research was commissioned and is funded by Defra’s Action Based Research programme, within the Resource, Atmosphere and Sustainability directorate.  Total funding from Defra will be £188,000.
The views expressed reflect the research findings and the authors’ interpretation; they do not necessarily reflect Defra policy or opinions.  

This project’s goal is to assess the feasibility of including flexible laminated packaging in existing household recycling schemes and recovering the aluminium from this packaging.

Anthesis LRS is leading a consortium consisting of: SUEZ environnement (waste and recycling collections); Enval (reprocessing flexible laminated packaging at their demonstration recycling facility), Nestlé (supporting the research by allowing the project to use their brands in communications), and Coca-Cola Enterprises (supporting the research through its experience with communications and behaviour change and allowing the use of their brands in communications).

About Defra
Defra is the UK Government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues.
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About Anthesis LRS
Anthesis LRS provides technical and strategic consultancy services to help organisations improve their resource efficiency to meet their financial and sustainability goals.  The team uses its expertise to guide clients through the following core areas:
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • Responsible procurement
  • Product stewardship, producer responsibility and the circular economy
  • Behaviour change and stakeholder engagement
  • Waste treatment and technology and commercial market due diligence 
  • Waste and recycling collections and modelling, resources management and materials quality

LRS was recently acquired by the Anthesis Group. Anthesis is a global yet specialist consultancy which believes that commercial success and sustainability go hand in hand. We offer financially driven sustainability strategy, underpinned by technical experience and delivered by innovative collaborative teams across the world. The company combines the reach of big consultancies with the deep expertise of the boutiques. We take our name from the Greek word “anthesis”, the stage of a plant’s lifecycle when it is most productive. Sustainability is now at that exciting stage of flourishing; it has grown up and grown into the mainstream. Anthesis has clients across industry sectors, from corporate multinationals like Coca-Cola, Tesco, ArjoWiggins and Reckitt Benckiser to world class events like London 2012, 34th America’s Cup and Sochi 2014. The company brings together expertise from countries around the world and has offices in the US, UK, Germany, China and Philippines. It has a track record of pioneering new approaches to sustainability and has won numerous awards.
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About Enval
Enval unlocks the potential of high performance materials using a novel recycling process based on microwave induced pyrolysis. The Enval process provides a world-first solution for dealing with plastic aluminium laminate waste. It is highly economical, efficient and environmentally friendly, and is suitable for both post-consumer and industrial waste. The recovered aluminium has a carbon footprint up to 75% lower than that of primary materials, while the pyrolytic oils can be sold for energy generation or chemical feedstock. Enval’s long-term objective is to deal with waste legacy, address the challenges presented by today’s new materials, and co-create the materials of the future to ensure that recyclability is built in.
More information about Enval – 

About SUEZ environnement. Recycling & Waste Recovery UK
The Recycling & Waste Recovery UK division of SUEZ environnement (previously SITA UK) was established in 1988 and currently employs more than 5,500 people. Operating in over 300 locations throughout the UK – from household waste recycling centres, transfer stations and landfills, to energy-from-waste, recycling, composting and secure shredding facilities - SUEZ environnement is able to provide an extensive range of managed services.
More information about SITA UK –  

About Nestlé UK & Ireland
Nestlé UK & Ireland is a subsidiary of Nestlé SA, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.  Nestlé is a major player within the UK and Irish food industry with 8,000 employees across 23 sites and produces some of Britain’s best loved brands, such as Kit Kat, Nescafé, Smarties, Buxton, Go Cat and Shreddies.  Nestlé is one of the UK and Ireland's food industry’s major exporters, with over £300m worth of products every year exported to over 50 countries around the world.
More information about Nestlé – 

About Coca-Cola Enterprises Limited
Coca-Cola Enterprises makes, sells and distributes soft drinks for every occasion in Great Britain. Coca-Cola Enterprises sell more than four billion bottles and cans in Great Britain (GB) every year and make 97 per cent of these products in GB.
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About Bracknell Forest Council
Bracknell Forest Council is a unitary authority in central Berkshire with 47,750 properties and a population of 113,000.  Bracknell Forest Council operates an alternate bin collection system, refuse is collected one week and dry recycling and garden waste on the following week. 240 litre wheeled bins are provided for refuse and comingled dry recycling. Garden waste collection is a chargeable service.  The current recycling rate is 36.5%.
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About Calderdale Council
Calderdale is the southernmost of the Yorkshire Dales. It is a beautiful area in West Yorkshire between Leeds and Manchester. Its spectacular natural landscape, vibrant towns, quirky culture, great diversity and community spirit tempt people to live, visit, work and do business here. Calderdale is currently sixth best in the country for recycling and is committed to improving this figure further and to encourage more recycling.
More information about Calderdale Council - 

About the London Borough of Hounslow
The London Borough of Hounslow is a unitary authority in West London covering 21.61 square miles and has a population of 254,900 residents.  The Borough operates a weekly black sack collection service and has recently expanded its current wheeled bin service to 30,000 residents. The Council’s recycling services consist of a weekly blue bag and green box collection in which residents can recycle paper, cardboard, cans, glass, small WEEE, clothes, tetra pack, mobile phones and household and car batteries. In addition, the Council offers a weekly food waste collection and an alternate weekly collection for plastics and free garden waste service.  The Borough provides a twice weekly collection service for refuse and recycling from flats above shops, a service for flats for refuse and recycling, and a weekly collection for food waste from schools.  The current recycling rate for the borough is 36%.
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