OPRL launches labelling rules review

The recycling label not-for-profit has launched the latest review process of its labelling rules to ensure they keep pace with developments in collections services and, for the first time, to take account of recycling infrastructure.

The widely drawn Steering Group met for the first time on 3 July and aims to complete its work in recommending changes to the OPRL Board by October, enabling new rules to be launched before the end of the year. As signalled in January 2017, the revised rules will take account of sortation processes at MRFs and the likelihood of reprocessing into recyclate for use in packaging or other products. The 2019 review process consequently involves an expanded range of expertise on the Steering Group, supported by a diverse panel of technical experts providing evidence. The resulting draft rules will be reviewed and challenged by experts from academia, NGOs and industry.

Stuart Lendrum, Chair of the Review Steering Group and OPRL director, said: “As the only evidence-based recycling label in the UK it’s essential to us that we have the right expertise and access to data on the Steering Group. I’m delighted and very grateful that this impressive array of industry figures has agreed to give us their support in undertaking this review. It will ensure a robust and credible process that both members and stakeholders can take assurance from.”

“This review will not only ensure our labels reflect the whole recycling process for the first time, going beyond collections to sortation and reprocessing, it will also take us towards a binary labelling system, as envisaged in the recent UK Governments’ joint consultation. Since we’re undertaking this ahead of consistent collections or additional infrastructure investment occurs, there may be areas where the Steering Group feel it is too early yet to make that decision, but that’s our aspiration. And to support that move, OPRL has commissioned consumer insight research on the most effective calls to action for our labels in future.”

Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL added: “The public is demanding more information on recyclability and wants to be assured of its accuracy – 84 percent check packaging for recycling advice. As the UK’s most trusted and widely recognised recycling label we’re determined to get this right, so we’re investing in research, getting the right people round the table and have engaged Richard Parker as our Programmes Manager to ensure we run a robust process. The extensive discussions already undertaken in the UK Plastics Pact’s fora and by the CPI/WRAP group on paper and board recyclability gives us a substantial body of work and wide cross-sector consensus to draw on. This work will also inform our world-leading recyclability evaluation tool update, PREP, offering ISO14021-compliant assessments for self-evaluated claims.”



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