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On-Pack Recycling Labels Get A 'Simplified' Look:


On-Pack Recycling Labels Get A 'Simplified' Look:

2nd Feb 2017

On-Pack Recycling Labels – The labelling system designed to help consumers about what to recycle gets a new simplified appearance following market research and the cloudiness of consumer feedback...

The OPRL scheme has revealed forward thinking with a new simplified look for its popular labels aimed at making it easier for consumers, retailers and manufacturers to efficiently recycle packaging.

The makeover was announced on the 1st February 2017 and replaces what the OPRL claim were a "potentially confusing range of symbols previously used". By noticing the cracks, the move follows three-months of research and feedback of the previous labelling system – which clearly indicated consumers needed ‘clearer, simplified messaging’.

The not-for-profit industry organisation said the latest OPRL labels would come in just three categories which simply tell consumers how likely it is that their local council will accept certain packaging materials and compounds for recycling.

These three categories are:

-      'Widely recycled' - At least 75% of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging.

-      'Check local recycling' - Between 20% and 75% of UK local authorities will collect the material.

-      'Not currently recycled' - The packaging is collected by less than 20% of UK local authorities.


OPRL say that the changes enable labels to be kept concise to help aid the pressures in optimising limited packaging space that accumulated from the Food Information to Consumers Regulation and other statutory requirements.

Recent research from waste body WRAP still find consumers deemed instructions such as 'Cap on', 'Rinse', and 'Remove Sleeve' useful.

The OPRL scheme was developed both by WRAP and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in 2009 to improve recycling communications as in the past many materials labelled as recyclable were not widely accepted for recycling in plants the UK.

Consumer surveys last year showed 70% of people now recognise OPRL labels and approximately 66% refer to them for packaging recycling advice.

The OPRL board director and chair of the review panel said the system still needed work to "maximise effective recycling" in the mission to change recycling dynamics. This adds to the appeal of the 20% of eco-friendly consumers that will choose a brand with a sustainability plan over ones that don’t.

After WRAP and other research teams listened to consumer and member feedback they re-designed the new labels to be “easier to understand and to use."

Using the OPRL allows us to give customers the information that they need in a clear and simple way.  It also supports local councils and more brands adopting the label to grow customer understanding and support UK recycling.


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On-Pack Recycling Label