The proportion of food and drink cartons being correctly labelled for recyclability has increased by 13 percentage points in the past year but manufacturers are being urged to do more.
The benchmark for the industry comes from OPRL, which operates the UK-wide On-Pack Recycling Label scheme.
The OPRL label tells consumers how likely it is that their local authority will accept specific packaging materials for recycling, based on three categories:
- Widely recycled (75% or more of councils collect that type of packaging)
- Check local recycling (between 20% and 75% of councils collect)
- Not currently recycled (fewer than 20% of councils collect)
Figures from ACE UK, which represents food and drink carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc, show that OPRL members now correctly label 38% of products, compared with 25% in 2015.
They were issued at an event to promote correct recycling labelling of food and drink cartons among retailers and manufacturers, where it was argued that much more could still be achieved.
Jane Bevis, chair of OPRL, said: “Research has shown a strong link between communication with consumers and recycling engagement. Consumers need packaging labelling to be clear and simple so they know what can be recycled and how.”