Why we say no thank you to degradable additives

Our plan: reduce demand for new fossil-derived polythene by recycling and re-using to make new products

We have been introduced to many degradable additives but have yet to find one that doesn’t compromise the recycling chain. Plus, why send a valuable resource to biodegrade when it could be recycled and reduce the requirement for virgin materials? Demand for products with recycled content is on the increase, fossil reserves are under pressure and global warming is a growing concern. Recycling and re-using this valuable material helps keep polythene in the chain and out of landfill and contributing positively towards the areas of concern. Find out more about renewable material GreenPE and for information about recycling polythene visit Closed Loop Recycling.

What to do with Polythene Waste?

Polythene bags and film are recyclable and are commonly recycled in industry through closed loop recycling systems which helps to keep this valuable material in the economy and out of the environment. Recycling and re-using waste polythene to produce new packaging products reduces dependency on finite fossil-derived polythene. Every 1t of virgin polyethylene material use avoided is the equivalent embodied carbon saving of 2.621tCO2e. 

Polythene waste recycling is also available locally. Find out where your local recycling centre is here:

Recycle Now
Enter your postcode into the Recycling Locator to find where you can recycle certain materials locally here

Recycling Plastic Film & Carrier Bags at Supermarkets
Carrier bag collection points are at the larger stores of most major supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, The Co-op and Waitrose carrier bags.

If you are a business with polythene waste we want to hear from you. Please call or email Duo UK at (+44) 0161 203 5767 / enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk


A packaging solution that was eco-friendly without compromising its functionality, risking damage to the products, or increasing the amount of space the packaging takes up in their warehouse.


Thanks to GreenPE, DuoUK provided SportsPursuit with a carbon negative, branded polythene mailing bag. Working with the SportPursuit team we developed a design which clearly communicated and educated the customer on the environmental credentials of the packaging item and how to recycle at end of life.

Find out more here 


To provide a solution that enables Pink Boutique to move to a renewable material source for their postal packaging to help contribute to their commitment to using resources sustainably. 


Pink Boutique came to Duo UK as they wanted to find a sustainable packaging material for their postal packaging in a bid to help decouple their packaging from finite fossil and reduce CO2 emissions.

Find out more here


Provide Brathay Trust with a bag for their event event goodies that is reusable and recyclable. 


Duo UK provided Brathay Trust with a carrier bag made from 100% recycled polythene thanks to Duo UK's closed loop recycling facility. By choosing recycled material Brathay Trust avoided the use of virgin material equivalent to the embodied carbon saving of 2.621tCO2e per 1 tonne.
The bag featured a message encouraging the bag to be re-used and recycle it once it is at the end of its life. 

Find out more here


Provide myHermes an affordable, sustainable packaging solution to achieve their commitment to creating a naturally sustainable future.


Duo UK provided myHermes with a carbon negative, branded polythene mailing bag thanks to GreenPE. GreenPE is a sustainable and carbon negative alternative material to regular fossil based polythene.
By choosing GreenPE branded mailing bags myHermes are helping save 2.78kg of CO2 per for each kg of GreenPE produced.

Find out more here


6 Ways Packaging Can Help Reduce Your Company's Environmental Impact

Packaging is a critical business necessity, but it doesn't have to put a strain on the earth's natural resources and can actually help improve your company's environmental performance.

Download our handy chart to find simple, tailored, solutions to improve the eco-credentials of your packaging here.

Getting sustainability wrapped up

Packaging for online orders should be functional and durable and now thanks to innovations in packaging materials it is possible to also minimise an etailer’s environmental footprint. 

Key innovations in the packaging industry are those that don’t pollute the waste stream and are easy for companies to adopt. Here are the latest innovations in sustainable packaging which will help your brand achieve its sustainability goals:

Latest innovations in sustainable packaging:

GreenPE - A sustainable alternative to oil-based polythene, created from sugar cane, can be manufactured in the same way as polythene and is 100% sustainable, 100% renewable and 100% recyclable.

Recycled PET - Made from recyclable plastics such as bottles, this PET packaging reduces a company’s carbon footprint, saves natural resources, and lessens landfill waste and the incineration of plastic.

Tyvek - A durable material that combines the physical properties of paper, film and fabric, made with 100% polythene. Used for mailing envelopes, it is water resistant and tough, and provides a longer shelf life and better appearance over time.

Bamboo - Used for packaging and containers for wrapping fashion items by brands such a menswear label Lyme Terrace, which packages products such as its bamboo fabric T-shirts in tubes of bamboo.

Source: Delivery and Returns: Are you meeting customer expectations? Drapers Sept 2016

How packaging can help to reduce environmental impact

Retailers are under increasing pressure to visibly reduce their environmental impact and packaging is often perceived as an 'easy win'. Key for a business looking to reduce the environmental impact of its business is to review the packaging they use from design to disposal. 

The business benefits of this are significant, allowing companies to prepare for the legislative changes, communicate a positive message to customers and help towards achieving environmental targets.

Read more here

Reduce landfill by sorting your waste

Segregating waste on site into separate material streams can bring huge benefits to your business including minimising costs, reducing waste to landfill and maximise the opportunities for recovery and recycling.

A simple way to make this process easy and engaging for your employees is by using different coloured sacks to identify different materials for example orange for paper and card and green for polythene.

Making your packaging returns-friendly

Including a second glue line to your mailing bag, along with a message to let you customers know that they can re-use the bag for returns, ensures the packaging gets two uses instead of one. 

The customer won’t have to buy extra mailing packaging for their returns, your product will be sent back in quality packaging (potentially avoiding damage in the post), and better still, everything ends up back at your warehouse so that it can be added to polythene waste for closed loop recycling. 


Support JD Williams' pledge to reduce the carbon, waste and water footprint of the clothing it produces.


Together with JD Williams we created a robust cost-effective collection sack that was distributed in all outbound mail parcels. Customers were encouraged to fill with old clothes and arrange a collection by JD Williams. We worked with the brand to design a compact sack that clearly communicated user instructions, and was perfectly sized for inclusion in outbound mailing bags.  All clothes donated by the customers are given to the Triad charity.

Find out more here

Review your packaging range regularly

Product ranges change frequently; so make sure you check your packaging range still meets your needs.

A simple packaging audit will show whether you’re getting the optimum use from your current product range, see how we carry out audits here.

Just one small change to a different sized mailing bag could save a huge amount of waste, improve the presentation of your product and still mean your product reaches the customer in perfect condition.

Promote your Green Credentials

Through our research, we know consumers make informed purchasing decisions from brands that are socially responsible. Use your packaging to show your commitment to sustainability and encourage customers to recycle by telling them exactly what type of material you’ve chosen to use in your packaging. 

If you chose to make the switch to Duo’s GreenPE to reduce your carbon footprint, why not print the “I’m Green” logo to tell your customers you’ve chosen to use a 100% recyclable and sustainable packaging product?

Find out more about how GreenPE can help you achieve zero-to-landfill here

Recycling for Cash

It’s not just the type of packaging material you select that can reduce your impact on the environment. The packaging waste in your warehouses and the packaging that is used to return items to you is also vital to reducing the amount of waste your company creates.

Segregating your waste into different materials means you’ll be able to avoid waste going to landfill, and for polythene waste you could even receive a payment per tonne.

Find out more about how easy it is to start closed loop recycling in your business here.


Reduce the amount of virgin polythene used in production of litter sacks created for Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘The Big Tidy Up’ event.


Using Duo’s closed-loop recycling process, we were able to reduce the amount of natural polythene used in the production of the litter sacks from 7 metric tonnes for every 100,000 to zero by using 100% recycled polythene, drastically reducing dependency on raw material and saving waste polythene from a life in landfill.

Find out more here

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