Recyclable Food Packaging

Recyclable Food Packaging

Colpac produces recyclable food packaging to meet a range of environmental and functional requirements; be that food waste reduction, hot and cold serve, ovenable and microwaveable, same day consumption or extended shelf-life.

How to Recycle Food Packaging 

How to Recycle Food Packaging 

Our paperboard packaging can be recycled in the mixed paperboard stream, as this includes cardboard recycling.

To aid recyclability, all of Colpac’s packaging is designed according to the guidelines set out by the UK’s On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme and the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).



We follow circular design principles in all our product development, balancing sustainability with functionality and reducing food waste. Product design and review is a key area where we can make the biggest contribution to reduce and recycle.

To do this, we:

  • Choose our materials to ensure maximum efficiency in the recycling process
  • Reduce the use of laminated composites where possible (these are very hard to recycle)
  • Work with the waste industry to assess our products’ recyclability in practical terms
  • Remove unnecessary plastic and reduce materials where possible
  • Use recycled and recovered materials to conserve natural resources, reduce emissions, and save energy in the long term

Our “green” team is always happy to talk to you about the end-of-life options of our products, including recyclable food packaging.

Recycling & Composting FAQs

Infographic showing stages of recycling cardboard.

The recyclability information that we provide online and, in our catalogue, relates to UK OPRL recycling guidelines. The current threshold for plastic content within recyclable paperboard is 10%.

Information on sustainability guidelines for other countries is available for each of our products. For specific country information, please contact your account manager.

Unless otherwise stated, our recyclability credentials refer to the entire product. Where a window or a separable part (e.g., lid) should be removed, guidelines are given.

Colpac products are designed with circular economy principles in mind. We predominantly rely on recycling to improve the circularity of our products. We constantly innovate as recycling guidelines and legislation evolve to increase recyclability.

With the right closed loop solution, compostable packaging can restore land and help to fuel the production of new materials used to make similar products.

Unrecyclable products are not circular. Even with circular economy principles in mind, we sometimes choose to make trade-offs to tackle other environmental issues. An example is preventing food waste which has a higher carbon impact than packaging. Our Modified Atmosphere Packaging is difficult to recycle, but extends food shelf-life by over 10 days.

‘Biodegradable’ means that the material will degrade over time, but it doesn’t tell you what it will degrade into or how long it will take. EN13432 certification confirms that the materials will biodegrade within a specific time frame and will not leave any toxic waste.