Plastic Packaging Framework

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Plastic Packaging Framework

Reducing carbon emissions and endorsing circularity within packaging.

Plastics have significant carbon footprints, contributing to 3.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions throughout their lifecycle1. Research shows that by using recycled content, carbon emissions can be reduced by 24%. Emissions can be reduced even more with lower carbon practices upstream during production.  

How we can help 

We help organisations in the packaging industry assess their products for further opportunities to decarbonise and become more circular.  

Our Plastic Packaging Framework endorses packaging where significant sustainable choices have been made throughout its design and production, facilitating the shift towards a circular economy. It aims to drive resource efficiency by recognising packaging that goes beyond compliance and ultimately produces lower carbon emissions. 

We have created our very own framework to assess your product's circularity against three key modules – recycled content, recyclability, and resource efficiency.   

What does the framework review? 

  • Taking action to increase the recycled content in plastic packaging
  • Working to improve the recyclability of plastic packaging 
  • Implementing resource efficiency principles within the design and production of plastic packaging 
  • Understanding plastic leakage and planning to avoid and mitigate its impact (optional) 

Reducing your carbon footprint with the Plastic Packaging Framework

This framework is beneficial for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance their circularity. It assesses which areas in packaging design require action and has helped users identify where recycled content combined with low carbon manufacturing has enabled carbon footprint reductions. 

The plastic packaging sector has a long way to go to curb its production and develop infrastructure able to cope with waste. We must all prioritise when using plastic as we strive for a circular economy and a Net Zero future.  

Who can use the Plastic Packaging Framework? 

The Plastic Packaging Framework is applicable to any organisation producing or using packaging that is over 50% plastic by weight. So far, the Carbon Trust has worked with both producers and brands in the packaging sector.

We are currently recruiting pilot companies for the Plastic Packaging Framework. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a pilot, please contact our team at 

About us

The Carbon Trust is a mission led organisation, for a decarbonised future. We are committed to helping organisations achieve decarbonisation in all sectors, including the plastic packaging industry. We do not encourage the use of plastic where it can be avoided, but currently there are areas where alternative materials are unrealistic, for both practical and pricing reasons. If plastic is going to exist, it should be as circular as possible. 

1 2022, OECD - Global Plastics Outlook: Economic Drivers, Environmental Impacts and Policy Options 

Discover more:

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