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Further expansion for packaging labelling scheme

Plastics recycling association Recoup has become a joint owner of On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL), as industry and retailers push for “consistent and clear messages” on recycling.

The move comes barely a month after the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment became the first joint owner in order to boost beverage carton recycling.

OPRL, a not-for-profit company launched by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in 2009, currently involves more than 150 manufacturers and producers, charities and retailers in a standardised recycling labelling scheme. Around 500 brands use the marking.

Types of packaging can be stamped with OPRL’s ‘widely recycled’ mark when at least 75% of councils collect the material from the kerbside. Packaging is marked ‘not currently recycled’ if this figure is less than 20%.

Recoup said that because a number of local authorities have instigated recycling collections for plastic pots, tubs and trays, these are likely to achieve the ‘widely recycled’ status in 2016.

Recoup chief executive Stuart Foster said OPRL was the “only viable recycling label option” in comparison to “misleading” schemes such as the Society of the Plastics Industry’s international coding system for types of plastic resin.

Jane Bevis, OPRL chair, said: “It is essential that customers hear consistent and clear messages about the importance of recycling in establishing the circular economy and growth of green jobs here in the UK, as well as saving council tax costs and delivering significant environmental benefits.

“Business has a vital role to play by coming together to give a strong lead, especially as public spending cuts take further effect.”

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