How can I reuse or recycle plastic biscuit wrapping?
I am a fan of biscuits (aka cookies). I have written of my love of biscuits. I am eating a biscuit while writing this. I do try to make my own biscuits but we eat store-bought ones too – and that obviously means packaging waste.
My favourite shop-bought ones are McVitie’s dark choc digestives so I contacted United Biscuits (who make McVities and a number of other brands) recently about their film-y packaging. They got back to me immediately – which is great compared to most companies – but the news isn’t particular good:
“Packs are made from polypropylene, which is not biodegradable. However, it is recyclable, although I am advised that whilst there are facilities to accommodate this elsewhere, there are currently none in the UK. We are working with the government agencies to try and develop suitable collection in the UK.
Having said that, a lot of work is currently taking place in the packaging community to develop films from sustainable bio sources such as corn. Development of these films may result in biodegradable and compostable films suitable for packaging our products.
The silver layer present in some of our packaging, is a microscopic layer of aluminium used as a barrier to prevent the migration of oxygen into the pack. This increases the shelf life of the product from several days to several months.
We use many hundreds of tonnes of film every year and are very concerned not only by the environment but also by the fact that plastics are derived from a non-renewable resource, crude oil.
Our packaging experts are working with the country’s leading producers to find replacements that are safe, cost effective and environmentally friendly as far as possible.”
So they say it can’t be recycled – what are the other options? Aside from making more at home, I’m careful to bulk buy possible (keeping the excess air-tight to avoid spoilage) but not buy their multipacks, which are the regular packs in an additional plastic pack.
Are there any reuses for polypropylene film? Anyone know of any other recycling avenues to explore?