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Foils and plastic trays given widely recycled on-pack label

PKBR Staff Writer Published 13 February 2017

UK's not-for-profit company The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) has modified its guidance for plastic pots, tubs and trays and aluminium foil to indicate that the materials are now widely recycled by councils at the kerbside.

Used across a number of food and drink brands, OPRL represents the recyclability of product packaging to consumers.

The new 2017 Guidelines suggests that more packaging can be placed in kerbside recycling collections by householders without checking advice from council.

The change was guided by data from WRAP, RECOUP, ACE-UK and Alupro.

According to the new guidelines, aluminium foils as well as certain clear and non-black opaque plastic pots, tubs and trays can now be Widely Recycled in home collections.

Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said: "As our data showed last year, aluminium foil collections by local authorities have moved past OPRL's 75% threshold for Widely Recycled designation, and now stand at 86%.”

Although beverage cartons are collected at kerbside by most local authorities, they are yet to meet the 75% threshold required to achieve OPRL’s Widely Recycled status, OPRL said.

Additionally, labeling for films has been simplified, allowing PE films carry the specialist label ‘Recycle With Bags at Larger Stores: Check Locally Kerbside’. Other films will be designated ‘Not Yet Recycled’.

ACE UK and Panel member senior recycling manager Mandy Kelly said: "The slimmed down and small format labels will help increase usage of the specialist label on beverage cartons, and the new Flatten | Cap On call to action will help us capture more valuable material for recycling at our Halifax plant."

Black plastic trays including ready meals, remain in the ‘Check Locally’ category, OPRL said.

As the OPRL information is based on council collections data, black plastic trays, including ready meal trays, remain in the ‘Check Locally’ category.