Smart Space
What is packaging?
Packaging refers to all products, of any material used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer.
What are the different types of packaging?
Primary Packaging
The packaging around the sales unit, which is supplied to the end user
Secondary Packaging
Is the middle layer of packaging – for example cardboard box with a number of identical products inside
Transit Packaging
Is the outer container that allows easier handling during transfer between factory distribution centres and retailers
Packaging handled and UK recycling targets
Your companies obligation is based on the packaging waste you handle and is divided into four activities. These four activities account for 100% of the responsibility of all packaging waste within the UK.


These activities are:

  • Manufacturing – Producing raw materials for the manufacture of packaging
  • Conversion – Coverting raw materials into packaging
  • Packing/Filling – Putting goods into packaging or packaging around goods
  • Selling – Passing on packaging to an end user


The responsibility is shared between each activity as follows:

  • Manufacturing – 6%
  • Conversion – 9%
  • Packing/filling – 37%
  • Selling – 48%

This means that all packaging waste placed into the waste stream in the UK is accounted for at each stage of the supply chain.


There are recycling targets for each material. 

The materials must be recorded and reported within the following categories:

  • Paper and Card – boxes, cartons etc.
  • Glass – bottles etc.
  • Aluminium – cans etc.
  • Steel – drums etc.
  • Plastic – bags etc.
  • Wood – pallets etc.
  • Other – This includes all other materials that do not fit into the above categories above such as cork