The move is expected to drive more rapid switching into sustainable packaging ahead of Extended Producer Responsibility reforms as new labels are applied over the next 3 years.
The review has drawn together extensive data and evidence, wide consultations and consumer testing. The new rules move the majority of packaging into a binary labelling system i.e. “Recycle” or “Don’t Recycle”. As now, there are a small number of exceptions for packaging dependent on bring site or front of store collections.
Commenting on the Review process Stuart Lendrum, Chair of the Steering Group and OPRL Ltd Board director, said: “This has been the most inclusive, extensive and rigorous Review to date of our recycling labelling rules. We’ve gathered together a broad and diverse array of expertise and evidence and subjected it to scrutiny and challenge by respected figures from inside the industry and beyond. I’m massively grateful to everyone who has contributed.”
“The results deliver our commitment to give consumers clarity on the true recyclability of packaging. As part of that commitment to transparency and accountability we are making our evidence base publicly available today. As further new evidence becomes available, we will fine tune these Rules so that we reflect the UK’s developing recycling technology and infrastructure, and further refining of industry technical standards.
Reflecting on the move to a binary system and its impact on collection services Carole Taylor, Chair of LARAC and Steering Group member, said “LARAC welcomes the move to the new binary system for recycling labels, which will be much clearer and simpler for consumers to understand and should help to improve the quality and quantity of recycling collected by local authorities. Reducing non-target materials and contamination in the recycling we collect is very important to ensure costs to councils are minimised.”
Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager at founding OPRL member, the Co-op, and Steering Group member, added “Consumers increasingly want clearer information on what to do with their packaging. We welcome all moves that simplify messaging around correct disposal routes and hope that OPRL’s latest review will help drive better habits and more informed action amongst the UK population.”