The single, industry-supported label replaces the potentially confusing range of symbols previously used.
Environment minister, Jane Kennedy, said: “By standardising the information provided to shoppers, these new recycling labels make it easier for us to know what we can recycle and help us to recycle more. I applaud the retailing sector for taking this initiative.”
The scheme will be operated by the British Retail Consortium under a company called OPRL (On-pack recycling label) Limited. The Waste & Resources Action Programme will monitor changes in local authorities’ recycling capabilities, which will determine the labelling category each packaging material falls into.
“Retailers have taken the lead in developing this new recycling label because they recognise their relationship with customers means they’re uniquely placed to help people do the right thing,” said director general Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Consortium. “Customer confusion is the biggest barrier to improving recycling rates. Replacing a potentially confusing array of symbols and messages with a single, standardised logo will help customers recycle more of what can be recycled. A string of household-name retailers are already committed to using the label. I hope we see all businesses that use packaging join this valuable scheme.”
Although the organisers aim to have 60 companies signed up to the label in the first year, so far the following retailers and suppliers are currently signed up to the scheme:
Melanie Leech, Food and Drink Federation director general, said: “Food and drink manufacturers are committed to providing more advice to consumers on how best to recycle or recover used packaging, as set out in our Five-fold Environmental Ambition. We welcome the launch of this new scheme and will encourage our members to use the new label.”
The initiative builds on retailers’ existing green commitments. It’s intended to boost UK household recycling rates by giving customers the information they need to ensure more of the material that can be recycled is recycled.
The label will have three categories depending on how likely it is that a customer’s local authority will accept specific packaging materials for recycling:
Source: OPRL Limited
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