Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging

Sustainable solutions for packaging

Scrutiny by government, consumers and environmental groups of an organisation’s environmental impact from packaging is now greater than ever. Consequently, the packaging industry must respond to the requirements of a diverse range of manufacturing sectors.

This includes different technical performance for packaging such as improving a product’s shelf life and protecting the product, as well as promoting the product. As a producer, you are now under increased pressure to ensure that your packaging strategy meets your customers’ expectations and is aligned with your organisation’s sustainability strategy. 

Ricardo’s experts have been offering world-class packaging consultancy for many years. Our knowledge and experience means we are perfectly placed to offer simple, innovative solutions enabling you to comply with legislation and lead the market. 

Our services include:

Regulatory compliance

Increased public awareness of the impact of single-use packaging has led the Government to introduce legislation to ban eight problematic single-use materials such as plastic cutlery, household polystyrene packaging and PVC packaging by 2025. 

With these regulations and several other packaging-focused regulations looming, you must take proactive measures to ensure that you mitigate any environmental and economic risks associated with the packaging your organisation uses.

Our packaging regulatory compliance services include:

  • Financial risk exposure – our economists can clarify what your financial exposure could be based on the changes to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. 
  • Market assessments and peer reviews – understand how other companies are integrating recycled content into their packaging; benchmark how your packaging and products compare with those of others; and, through our market assessments service, discover how others are sourcing their recycled content. 
  • Packaging supply chain audits – we can undertake audits of your packaging supply chain to confirm where recycled content is being sourced and how much is in your packaging, so helping to meet your due diligence responsibilities. 
  • Single-use audits – we can confirm how much of your packaging is classed as single-use and what the likely disposal method is for it. We undertake audits with waste reprocessors and local authorities to provide an understanding of the level of packaging that ends up being diverted to landfill, is recycled or goes to energy-from-waste plant.  

Our experts can advise you about compliance with appropriate legislation and how you can use it to your advantage. 

>> Back to the top

Sustainable packaging

We can help you prepare for changes to existing legislation (which is being consulted on now) and the proposed tax on plastic packaging, which will enable you to be compliant and meet customer demand, so protecting your brand reputation and reducing your environmental impact. 

We can provide organisations in the packaging sector and those that are part of the packaging life cycle with all the facts they need to make the best decision for their products and packaging. Our approach is comprehensive because we assess alternative packaging solutions that are acceptable to stakeholders including suppliers and customers. 

Our sustainable packaging services include:

  • Carbon footprint analysis – we can provide a carbon footprint of your packaging in a simplified format that is easy to understand and can be shared with others in your business. This will help you to identify the key areas where carbon savings can be made in your packaging’s life cycle. 
  • Life cycle assessments (LCAs) – our experts can carry out LCAs on your current packaging and proposed alternative material choices to help you understand the overall environmental impact of your packaging. Learn more about our LCA services here. 

Take a proactive approach to packaging and get in touch with our experts to learn more about how we can help. 

>> Back to the top

On-Pack Recycling Label

The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme was launched in 2009 in response to consumer demand for a more standardised system of recycling information on packaging. OPRL has over 400 members, accounting for over 95% of all packaging placed on the UK market. 

As the audit partner of the OPRL, we support members to understand their performance against the labelling rules. 

Our OPRL services include:

  • Auditing services – we can carry out desk-based audits on sample packaging or undertake the audit in store to target specific product ranges as required. Contact our dedicated audit team to discuss how our audit service can help you track your ORPL coverage of your own-brand and third-party-branded products.
  • Benchmarking services – we provide benchmarking information to brand owners to enable them to understand how they are performing against a market average for their sector. 
OPRL Ricardo case study

Download our OPRL case study showing how Ricardo’s experienced auditing team provides support and clear guidance to OPRL’s members regarding the correct application of labelling rules.


We are uniquely placed to provide companies with rigorous auditing and benchmarking services. Please contact our experts to talk about how we can help you. 

>> Back to the top