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With recent announcements of major industry initiatives seeking to increase the rate of recycling of plastic packaging, OPRL has amended its recycling labelling rules to include PP films. This move will bring polypropylene (PP) flexible packaging in line with PE films from 1st Jan 2022, broadening the range of flexible packaging that consumers can recycle.


On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) Logo

Based on retailer and brand plans to deliver on commitments under The UK Plastics Pact, OPRL is confident that collections will be available to more than 75% of the UK population for PP film by January 2022. With 9 out of 10 consumers relying on OPRL to inform them on whether they can recycle items, this development should significantly increase the rate at which soft plastics are being recycled at the front of store. PP material recycled in-store will be collected and processed into new packaging and products.


OPRL are continuing to establish the availability of processing capacity and functioning markets for metallised foil crisp, snack and chocolate wrappers. Although they are covered by some in-store recycling collection networks, OPRL hope these too could be labelled as ‘recyclable’ in the near future.

OPRLs new recycling rules will see PP films with less than 5% PE or EVOH labelled with a Special Films label from next January, as PE films.

OPRL recycling labelsJane Bevis, Chair of OPRL Ltd, said “We know there’s a huge appetite among consumers to recycle more of this lightweight packaging, with tremendous responses to in-store trials by retailers. So it’s exciting that the long-established major supermarkets’ network of front-of-store collections for PE films is being extended and strengthened and will now encompass a broader range of bags and wrapping. That means from January consumers will be able to take many more types of packaging for recycling at their local supermarket.”


Margaret Bates, Executive Director of OPRL Ltd, went on to explain. “Mono-polymer polypropylene without heavy coatings or metallisation is an important first step in extending our advice to consumers. It will bring pasta, biscuit and other everyday packaging in line with bread, veg and fruit, and loo roll bags. We’re very conscious that our labels are trusted by consumers because they constitute a ‘promise’. 95% of people are confident they understand our ‘Recycle’ label. Therefore if they put packaging bearing it in the right bin, then it will be recycled. We respect and value that trust, built up over 12 years of labelling packaging. So we’re committed to verifying the necessary infrastructure is in place to deliver on that promise. And to make sure markets exist to make this an economically viable and sustainable process.”


PP Recyclable Pouch

Source: OPRL’s news release “OPRL Labelling Rules Change to Support Flexibles Recycling”


Foxpak offers a wide range of recyclable packaging in line with OPRL guidance. Our recyclable range includes PE/PE and PP/PP mono-material structures available in matt and gloss finishes and with high barrier protection. We continue to encourage the use of recyclable plastics, helping our clients create a more sustainable supply chain in line with our vision of a circular economy.

If your brand is looking to invest in quality packaging, our team will guide you through the entire process, providing recommendations on increased sustainability, helping to improve efficiencies and adding expert and award-winning value to your end product.