Recycling : CGF launches full set of Golden Design rules

wrap plastics packaging compostable

Members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) released the remaining set of guidelines for more sustainable packaging. Termed ‘Golden Design Rules’, they are set to improve plastic recyclability.

The primary objective is to get rid of problematic materials, colours and labels in packaging.

Guided by principles endorsed by the Ellen McArthur Foundation, the CGF’s Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste, which originally launched the series of ‘Golden Design Rules’ in December 2020, is dedicated to achieving a circular plastic economy.

The latest design rules relate to eliminating unnecessary headspace in flexible packaging types in categories such as health and wellness, cleaning products, dry groceries, frozen food, fresh produce as well as water and beverages. The elimination of plastic ‘overwraps’, which refers to additional packaging (ex. cereal bags) as well as the need for further recycling of various types of plastic such as PET thermoformed packaging, flexible consumer packaging and rigid HDPE and PP are further issues addressed within the rules. The restriction of virgin plastics in the production of B2B plastic packaging as well as the creation of accurate and clear recycling instructions are also mentioned.

The first two rules in the series, published in December 2020, focused on increasing the value of PET bottle recycling and removing problematic elements from packaging, such as carbon black, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and EPS (expanded polystyrene), which complicate the recycling process.

Said ‘Golden Design Rules’ were cobbled together based on expert opinion, advice sourced from industry bodies, retailer-design guidelines and country-specific legislation. A global, independent expert panel helped formulate the rules while taking into account possible exceptions to the framework in question and ideating technical solutions.

Members of the CGF Coalition have committed to applying these rules by 2025. They have also agreed to annually document their individual implementation in form of a report.

Members of the Coalition include the Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Procter&Gamble, Rewe Group, Mondelez International, L’Oreal, Henkel, Walmart and Sainsbury’s. Collectively, they represent 10% of the global packaging market and are valued at more than $1 trillion.