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Ready meals are a huge industry, used for convenience and saving time, but come in various types of packaging. Is it all recyclable?
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Most councils collect aluminium foil trays for recycling, for example ready meal, quiche & pie and pet food foil trays.

Cardboard pizza packaging base is recyclable, but many are still sold with non-recyclable polystrene bases.

Many ready meal trays can not be recycled due to the use of a mixture of plastic polymers in the material.

Due to the fact that most sorting plants use optical sorting techniques to identify the different polymer types, they are not able to identify black plastic trays used for ready meal packaging. Currently most local authorities will not collect this type of packaging. If they are accepted, it is likely to be rejected at the sorting plant and end up in the residual waste stream and will not be recycled.

Waitrose has introduced home compostable packaging for many ready meals.


Black Plastic” (Recyclenow.com, 2019)

Crowe V, “Only Half of Supermarket Packaging Is Recyclable” (Which? News, 2019)

How Is Plastic Packaging Recycled?” (Recycle-more.co.uk, 2018)

Waitrose Launches World’s First Home Compostable Ready Meal Packaging  as the Retailer’s Removal of Black Plastics Heats up” (Waitrose & Partners, 2019)

What Can I Recycle - The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation” (Alupro, 2018)

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