WRAP has produced the latest UK recyclability guidance on how to design and place onto the UK market rigid plastic packaging (such as non-drink bottles, and pots, tubs and trays) that is as recyclable as possible. 

Key points
  • Aims to enable recovered plastic supply chain to reach 42% recycling target by 2017
  • Provides research, case studies, and best practice guidance for recycling rigid plastics


The guidance and case studies are part of a range of tools designed to help the UK meet its challenging UK recycling targets for plastic packaging (the recovered plastic supply chain must reach 42% recycling by 2017). 

The comprehensive and up-to-date guidance is aimed at enabling used plastic packaging to be reprocessed to produce high quality technical grade virgin replacement materials that can be used in the manufacture of new plastic items. It is for brand owners, retailers, packaging manufacturers and designers.

The guidance covers aspects of plastic packaging that are either ideal, not ideal or detrimental for recycling for rigid plastic packaging (pots, tubs and trays) and non-drinks bottles made from  polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS). The guidance is based on feedback and input received from a range of UK plastic sorters and reprocessors.

To complement the guidance, case studies have been produced to help encourage the consideration of recyclability during the design phase. Packaging examples are included from organisations such as B&Q, Boots, The Co-operative Food, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose. Both the guidance and case studies were produced by Recoup for WRAP.

As the capabilities for sorting and reprocessing rigid plastic packaging develop over the coming years in the UK, WRAP intends to review the guidance annually to ensure it remains current and relevant.

Download the full report >>
Download case studies >>


Introduction >>
Guiding principles >>
Recyclability Categorisation Matrices >>
Results of the test categorisation of 50 commonly used packs >>

Download the full report >>

Case studies

The case studies are presented to showcase rigid plastic packaging, currently on the UK marketplace, that is ideal for recycling.

By highlighting specific examples with explanations of why they are recyclable, WRAP aims to encourage consideration of recyclability during the design process. This will help to maximise recycling of plastic packaging on the UK market back into virgin replacement resins.

B&Q >>
Boots >>
The Co-operative Food >>
Morrisons >>
Tesco >>
Waitrose >>

Download all case studies >>

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  • WRAP-Guidance Document - Design of Rigid Plastic Packaging for Recycling.pdf

    PDF, 399.88 KB

  • WRAP-Rigid Plastics Case Studies.pdf

    PDF, 969.09 KB