The CGF Golden Design Rules for Plastic Packaging

Plastic packaging remains an integral part of the global economy. However, the vast majority of packaging products used today includes materials that make recycling very difficult or impossible, contributing to plastic waste ending up in natural spaces. 

This workstream is working to align a critical mass of companies behind common packaging design guidelines and principles for flexible and rigid materials.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes are a policy tool which aim to hold producers accountable for the end-of-life impact of their plastic products and packaging. Around the globe, many governments and policy makers are rolling out EPR schemes, whose differing structures and commitments often result in duplication and misalignment.

Our workstream is working to help governments understand the industry view on EPR programmes and promote harmonisation by developing an aligned framework for optimal and fair EPR schemes.


Reuse/Refill models are a key component for systemic shift from disposable packaging towards a model that reduces material use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste, learning from successful models already operating at scale for example in the beverage industry. 

In 2022, the Plastic Waste Coalition started the Reuse/Refill workstream to understand what we can do collectively to support scaling such models widely.

Flexible Plastics

Flexible plastic packaging plays an important role in keeping everyday consumer food products safe and fresh, often with lower greenhouse gas emissions than alternative materials. However, flexible plastic is challenging to recycle, and it is this type of plastic that disproportionately accounts for the plastic waste accumulating in the environment, causing problems for ecosystems and human health. 

This workstream take a four-pronged approach, working on reduce and re-design, recycling systems, innovation, and recycling technology.

Chemical Recycling

In recent years, chemical recycling has emerged as a potential solution to the issues surrounding the end-of-life disposal of plastics, which could effectively complement mechanical recycling in achieving a circular economy. 

Our workstream is working to scale up advanced recycling, especially for flexible packaging. It also engages with key stakeholders to ensure broad support and send a strong demand signal for advanced recycling to investors and upstream suppliers.