CPI becomes latest organisation to join ownership of OPRL recycling labelling system

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) is the latest high-profile organisation in the materials recycling sector to buy into the expanding ownership of OPRL Ltd, the not-for-profit running the UK’s most widely recognised packaging recycling label scheme, it has been announced today (12 December).

The CPI joins the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment UK (ACE UK), the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), and the Recycling of Used Plastics Ltd (RECOUP) as guarantors of OPRL Ltd as the British Retail Consortium backs down from its role as owner, a role it has held since the foundation of the scheme in 2009.

CPI becomes latest organisation to join ownership of OPRL recycling labelling system

The OPRL scheme, which was devised to present clear guidance on recyclability, has three categories that tell consumers how likely it is that their local authority will accept specific packaging materials for recycling.

These categories are:

  • Widely recycled – 75 per cent or more of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging;
  • Check local recycling – between 20 and 75 per cent of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging; and
  • Not currently recycled – fewer than 20 per cent of UK local authorities collect that type of packaging.

Over 550 brands use the label system to inform consumers about their product packaging recyclability.

The new ownership enables closer working, sharing of evidence and expertise, and ensures the OPRL scheme is networked with recycling industry experts. It also promotes the scheme with local authorities as part of engaging consumers in more and effective recycling.

Commenting on the announcement, Simon Weston, Director at the CPI, said: “We’ve been keen supporters of the OPRL scheme for some time, working closely with OPRL and WRAP to ensure the correct information is given on the recyclability of fibre-based packaging and advising on innovative materials. Coming into the company as a joint guarantor is the natural development of that relationship as together we tackle some real challenges in recycling and food grade packaging, in particular. We know consumers are looking to industry to solve some knotty technical issues.”

Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL Ltd, added: “We’re delighted to welcome the CPI to our increasingly diverse guarantors.  Building bridges with others committed to increasing the recycling of packaging is essential to break through the current ceiling on recycling rates. The technical capability that the CPI adds in understanding paper and card based packaging issues extends our evidence-based approach, giving consumers further assurance that our labels can be trusted.”

“We’re also very grateful to the BRC for all their support over the last 9 years.  It was the vision of BRC members wishing to engage their customers, working with WRAP, that led to the development of our labelling scheme, and it was their commitment that built consumer recognition to the current high levels, now as high as 90 percent among young consumers. Retailers continue to be an important part of our membership - also becoming increasingly diverse – and we will remain close to the sector.  We have now opened up specific membership categories for packaging manufacturers and designers as we extend our range of services beyond labels.”

More information about the OPRL can be found on the scheme’s website.

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