DEVELOPMENT VERSION – Please provide your questions or comments to

Option 4 – Improved Recyclability and Actual Recycling

In This Section

The following actions, individually or collectively, will contribute to achieving the outcomes of improved recyclability and actual recycling of rigid non-PET packaging. These actions are largely based on the current set of Golden Design Rules.

Available Courses of Action

  • Action 1 – Apply GDR #7: Increase Recycling Value in Rigid HDPE and PP

Action 1 – Apply Golden Design Rule (GDR) # 7: Increase Recycling Value in HDPE and PP

In choosing to apply Golden Design Rule (GDR) #7 – Increase Recycling Value in HDPE & PP – the change in packaging design, composition or construction is primarily achieved thru one of more of the following:

  • For all labels, ensure material choice, adhesive choice, inks and size is not problematic for recycling; including phase out of paper labels and PET, PETG, PLA and PVC labels/adhesives, and non-water soluble/dispersible adhesives. For in-mold labelling (IML) only use polyolefins.
  • Use minimal or moderate direct printing (e.g., limit to production or expiry date; where additional printing necessary use of labels is preferred; where inks required use only ones that do not bleed or limit recyclability.
  • For closures, ensure material choice, liners and seals do not limit recyclability.
  • Do not use fillers that increase the density of the packaging to > 1 g/cm3

The following use case(s) provide examples of where GDR#7 has been demonstrated for rigid non-PET packaging.

Use Cases
Use CaseInnovationApplication Release to Market
Berry GlobalFlexible silicone cap valve replaced, making cap mono-material, recyclable polypropylene (PP) Ketchup and other condiments2023

Supporting Resources

Useful resources to consider as you explore applying one or more of the above actions to rigid non-PET packaging includes: 

General Information
  • Packaging Design for Recycling: A Global Recommendation for Circular Packaging Design
    World Packaging Organization (WPO)

    This resource considers a holistic view of packaging as essential for sustainable pacakaging development – including delivering on a circular economy and the reduction in the sources of ecological impact on the environment. Design for recycling is part of circular product design and represents an important basis for holistic sustainable assessment.

  • Accelerating Recycling Best Practices: The 2023 Knowledge Report 2023
    The Recycling Partnership and The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact

    This report digs into what it will take from all of those involved across the value chain to incite the change necessary to accelerate recycling best practices.

  • The Golden Design Rules 2021
    The Consumer Goods Forum, and CPPThe GDR’s are voluntary commitments outline specific design changes aligned with globally recognized technical guidelines and targets laid out in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?s New Plastic Economy Global Commitments.
  • RecyClass Online Tool
    RecyClassThis tool assesses the recyclability of plastic packaging and shows to what extent it is suitable for recycling by rating it within a class system from A to F, and provides recommendations on where improvements to the package can be made.
  • Better Packaging for Better Recycling 2022
    MetroThis guide includes information needed for designing eco-responsible packaging.