Direct elimination involves solutions in which an entire package or packaging component can be removed without the need for a replacement technology (1). These solutions fall under two headings:
Companies should identify which of their products can present “quick win” opportunities for direct elimination. Those that want to get ahead of the curve should also make sure they have a process in place to proactively review and challenge packaging design/decisions before they are rolled out.
Note: High in this instance implies the solution is highly applicable to the plastic type. Medium indicates potential to apply this solution to the relevant plastic type in some cases. Low implies major barriers and, generally speaking, this solution cannot be used in conjunction with the plastic type.
Many examples of successful reuse programs for plastic packaging are currently from outside the U.S. However, more U.S. case studies are emerging and will be included in the future. The following are used for general information and illustrative purposes and do not reflect a preference of or an endorsement by The Recycling Partnership or our affiliates or vendors.
(1) Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Upstream Innovation. A guide to packaging solutions. (Link)
(2) Tom Hunt, The Guardian, June 2017. “Fruit and veg come in their own natural wrapping. Why do we smother them in plastic?” (Link)
(3) Waitrose (2019). Waitrose Unpacked refillables test to launch in more shops after positive response in Oxford. (Link).