Easier to understand recycling labelling welcomed by The Recycling Association

The new packaging labels introduced by the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) organisation.

Easier to understand recycling labelling has been welcomed by The Recycling Association.

Under new rules developed by OPRL, packaging labels will state ‘Recycle’ or ‘Don’t Recycle’.

The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “This move by OPRL means recycling will be much easier to understand for the public.

“Once the upcoming Environment Bill is published, hopefully we will also see the plans that were drawn up in the Resources & Waste Strategy that would mean retailers and manufacturers create packaging that is easy to recycle too. When combined with the OPRL labelling, this will lead to much higher quality recycling.

“However, for our members, the decision that coated paper and card products have a 15% plastic tolerance and 10% tolerance by 2023 should have been more ambitious, especially as this doesn’t even meet the CPI/WRAP guidelines on laminates. With innovations in packaging technology over the next few years, we should aim to get this down to zero lamination as soon as possible.

“While it is mostly positive that three polymer types move from Check Locally to Recycle and PVC and PS will be in Don’t Recycle, there is a risk that some of the permitted polymer types include products such as sandwich boxes that are hard to recycle. We need to be very careful that this does not lead to much greater contamination of the plastic recycling stream.

“However, this choice of three polymers does provide clarity to the consumer, but also means local authorities can have standardised plastic collections, and manufacturers have a list of standard polymers to use. It does require both to make rapid strides to ensure that quality is put first.

“With Recycle meaning that ‘75% of local authorities collect that type of packaging which is then effectively sorted, processed and sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products’, we would urge those that are in the 25% to match their counterparts and effectively standardise core material collection. That way, this commendable work from OPRL will mean consumers all over the UK can recycle their packaging at home in confidence.”