The organisation’s chief executive Simon Ellin claimed the two products had packaging that was too hard to recycle.
Ellin picked out Pringles as one of the worst offenders due to the cardboard outer, metal lining, metal base, foil and paper strip and plastic lid on BBC’s Breakfast programme last week (May 19).
He also criticised the design of Lucozade Sport bottles, as the polymer shrink-wrap sleeve made it harder for recycling machines to separate them.
Criticised the design of Lucozade Sport bottles
Black supermarket meat trays also posed a problem for machines in recycling plants, as the pigment in the plastic made them difficult to detect by infrared technology, Ellin claimed.
Ellin said: “I have picked out these products as they are among the worst offenders when it comes to packaging that is difficult to recycle.
“We have got to ensure that the whole supply chain is involved from designers, to manufacturers, to retailers, to recyclers, to local authorities and the householder so that the products we buy can be recycled.”
However, Kellogg – owner of the Pringles brand – said its packaging helped to minimise food waste.
A spokesman for the Pringles brand said: “We take our responsibilities to the planet we all share seriously and are continuously working to improve our environmental performance.
“All parts of a Pringles can act as a barrier to protect the chips from environmental contamination and to keep them fresh. The freshness of our chips means a longer shelf life, which minimises food waste.”
Ellin also criticised Whisky packaging – specifically sleeves on bottles – as difficult to recycle. This was due to the mixture of cardboard and metal used in their construction.
‘Almost impossible’ to recycle.
He also said cleaning spray bottles were “almost impossible” to recycle. While the body of the bottle was widely recycled, the spray mechanism were not, because they contained a metal spring and three or more polymers.
“The Quality First campaign launched by the Recycling Association last year, wants to ensure that we provide good quality material to the market for recycling, and one of the best ways to help this is to ensure that the product is easy to recycle in the first place,” added Ellin.
“Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer and Unilever are pioneers in improving the sustainability of their products and ensuring the packaging can be recycled once used. If they can do it, surely other manufacturers and retailers can.”
Worst packaging offenders, according to Simon Ellin
- Pringles tubes
- Lucozade Sport bottles
- Whisky packaging
- Black plastic food trays
- Cleaning spray bottles