Skymark contributes to bolstering UK recycling targets
Leading UK flexible packaging manufacturer, Skymark, has been named as an accredited reprocessor of packaging waste, contributing positively to the UK’s recycling targets.
Both Skymark sites in Ilkeston and Scunthorpe are now registered with the Environment Agency, allowing the company to recycle and reprocess its own packaging waste as well as additional packaging waste from its customers and other companies.
In addition, Skymark can recycle packaging waste that may include sensitive information such as corporate logos and promotion materials.
Paul Glover, commercial technical director, Skymark, said: ‘Consumer and media debate regarding the use of plastic and single use packaging in the UK has accelerated significantly since the turn of the year. In response, further discussions have taken place on increasing recycling capacity, improving collection practices and ensuring manufacturers take more responsibility for the end of life processing of their products.
‘For some time now brands and retailers have stated their intentions to reduce or remove plastic packaging from supply chains. The spotlight is therefore now firmly placed on the packaging industry, which is being forced to take full responsibility for the packaging waste produced as a result of commercial activities.’
In response, Skymark is taking positive action to combat the growing plastic waste issue. Its Ilkeston, Derbyshire site became an accredited reprocessor of packaging waste in 2006 and acts today as a recovery and recycling plant. Furthermore, Scunthorpe was granted its licence this year (2018) and will follow the precedent set by the headquarters.
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007, businesses that manufacture or use more than 50 tonnes of packaging per year have a legal obligation to ensure that a proportion of what they place on the market is recovered and recycled. Registered companies are required to physically set up return, collection and recovery systems to recycle packaging waste for use.
Skymark has committed to the Government regulation and reuses its recovered waste internally with a view to selling reclaimed polymer in the future.
Paul continued, ‘In the wake of the BBC's Blue Planet documentary series, which brought the scale of plastic waste to wider prominence late last year, environmental groups have since called for reform of producer responsibility obligations.
‘These responsibilities have always been an important part of our strategy at Skymark; operating sustainable manufacturing operations, as well as producing packaging solutions that meet the needs of the circular economy and brands’ sustainability requirements. Now by becoming a reprocessor of packaging waste, we will minimise the impact of packaging waste on the environment by reducing the amount going to landfill.’