The materials used for the packaging can be all or part constituted of recycled materials.
The benefits are reducing the environmental impacts of used material if (obviously) the recycled material shows less impact than virgin material. However, the key barrier to the use of recycled materials is their food contact properties associated with (i) contaminants from cosmetic and detergent products, (ii) non-food grade materials polluting food-grade material streams (iii) improper use of packaging by consumers leading to unexpected contamination (iv) blend of external (non-food grade) layers with internal food grade layers (v) absence of traceability of original material composition. The goal is to use the maximum of recycled materials to ensure (a) the real environmental efficiency of this incorporation (b) the chemical risk control.
Use recycled materials that show less environmental impact vs virgin material.
Use recycled materials that are qualified as food contact material.
Design the packaging inserting functional barrier layers to delay and reduce the migration of contaminants from (external) recycled materials.
In this case, the functional barrier efficiency must be evaluated.
Second lives of plastic packaging: lessons learned (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure)