You may be interested to know that the UK Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations require producers of packaging to ensure that a proportion of what they handle is recovered and recycled. As recycling targets become more challenging, the incentive on businesses to minimise the packaging they use increases.
Meanwhile the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations require that packaging should not exceed what is needed to ensure that products are safe, hygienic, and acceptable to the consumer. Through these rules, businesses are encouraged to use as little packaging as possible, to reduce waste.
This was complemented by the third phase of a cross-industry partnership called the Courtauld Commitment, which aimed to optimise packaging further, reduce packaging waste and improve recyclability. Its impact has been predicted as a cumulative reduction of 1.1 million tonnes of waste and a cost benefit of £1.6 billion to consumers, food and drink sector and local authorities.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme is also supporting a range of activities to support the use of recycled materials in new products, and encourage demand for them. For example, the Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan has identified actions across the whole supply chain to ensure plastics packaging can be recycled sustainably. This includes designing for recyclability and developing markets for recycled products.