Nick Barber Quotation

Our Sales Director Nick Barber featured in the latest issues of AMI’s Plastics Recycling World and Injection World. Nick spoke about changing consumer perceptions and the need for brands to embrace sustainability over aesthetics in their plastic packaging…

Detective work: finding colour solutions for recycling
Experpt from: Plastics Recycling World | July/August 2021

Broadway Colours makes masterbatch and rotational moulding powders in the UK. It recently commissioned a new lab and appointed Dr. Chandres Surti as Technical Manager. He will lead a growing technical team in the development of bespoke masterbatches. Sales Director Nick Barber believes that it’s time to start driving change in consumer perception when it comes to using PCR in coloured plastic packaging. He feels that materials manufacturers and brand owners have an important role to play in supporting the changing landscape.

“We know that colour is widely used for brand recognition, and we know consumers favour colourful packaging with no imperfections. However, we believe perceptions may soon change. You only need to look at sentiment towards the use of plastic generally to know how this can impact corporate decision making. We’ve seen instances of supermarkets reducing their use of plastic, even if evidence suggests that the alternative solutions aren’t actually greener.”

Broadway Colours has been asking if recycling compatibility should take precedence over brand consistency – particularly for products with a short lifecycle. Barber says: “We know that highly loaded colours can impede the recycling process. Sometimes the greenest thing to do is make compromises on colour in order to support sustainability. So when it comes to colour, will there come a time when consumers see this as a barrier to recycling?”

In his view, “As more PCR is used, consumers will gain greater awareness of recycled content in packaging. Less pigment and higher amounts of PCR won’t lend themselves to perfect-looking packaging. However brands that are happy to feature imperfections have a great opportunity to communicate this positively. They’ll rightly be seen by consumers as leading the sustainability movement in plastic packaging. The environmentally conscious consumer will increasingly turn to these brands over those that clearly prioritise appearance over sustainability.

Our colour matching suite will be enhanced during our ongoing site upgrades. It’s perfect for allowing us to educate customers as we can demonstrate our process to them. It works really well when colouring materials with high levels of PCR.”