‘Design Check’ tool gives guidance to designers, packaging technologists, customers and suppliers of flexible packaging
Packaging initiative CEFLEX says thousands of organisations in Europe and worldwide have embraced its ‘Designing for a Circular Economy’ (D4ACE) guidelines since they were launched in 2020. The group’s objective is “to ensure all flexible packaging is optimised for collection, sorting and recycling – and producing higher quality recycled materials to be used again in the circular economy.”
Now CEFLEX has teamed up with recyclability experts Recyda to deliver design-check.ceflex.eu which launches publicly with an information webinar on 19 September 2023 (Registration link). This free service is being made available for anyone wanting to make a quick and effective assessment on their design journey.
The new ‘Design Check’ tool was developed in response to users of the guidelines who requested a way to check if a packaging design or specification adheres to them, when assessing their packaging portfolios and developing new products with partners, suppliers and customers.
“The tool can be used either to assess an existing package, facilitate the R&D and design process, engage with other parts of the value chain, or prepare for recyclability testing,” explained CEFLEX design lead Liz Morrish. A team of CEFLEX stakeholders developed and tested the tool – including confidentiality and data protection elements – and many stakeholder companies have already used it successfully.
“Assessment covers all parts of the guidelines, including their sortability and recyclability principles. It indicates if a specification or design is compatible, has limited compatibility or is not compatible in terms of the D4ACE categories. Users are also able to undertake assessments for multiple specifications or designs,” she added.
Graham Houlder, CEFLEX project coordinator noted, “The Design Check tool makes our guidelines easier to use, providing a record to track improvements over time and helping the value chain continue to accelerate progress on circular design. It specifically responds to the particular needs of our stakeholders and wider flexible packaging market”.
“The tool could also play a key role in implementation of an expected EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) conformity assessment procedure. This will require producers and importers of packaged goods to gather relevant technical information and declare that the packaging they place on the market meets legal design requirements,” he added.
The tool is based on the current CEFLEX D4ACE guidelines, which cover mono-material PE and PP structures, as well as mixed PO, in a mechanical recycling process. It will be revised to reflect updates based on an extensive testing programme and new materials falling within the scope of Designing for a Circular Economy, such as flexible packaging containing aluminium foil.