About OPRL

OPRL is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, any surpluses being reinvested in our activities to promote recycling of packaging. The company launched in March 2009.


British Retail Consortium (BRC) The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and their leading members work with WRAP to devise a labelling system that will engage consumers with recycling as Local Authorities start rolling out basic services

OPRL Ltd incorporated as a not-for-profit limited by guarantee as part of BRC, and the initial scheme launched with around 30 members. Three of the founding Directors are still on our Board. Our labels launched as Widely Recycled more than 70% councils collecting, Not Currently Recycled less than 15%, or Check Locally for Recycling in between.



Annual revisions of guidelines as Local Authority services expanded, and more packaging types became ‘Widely Recycled’ i.e., more than 70% councils collected and in 2010 we launched our first film label. We continued to use WRAP services to manage member enquiries.

Governance review led to skills-based Board appointments replacing the original constituency-based directorships. 5 new Board members appointed. Ricardo appointed as new auditors.



We built a new website with improved functionality including label artwork library. Previously members had created their own labels based on our guidelines. We also had our first fee rise since launch.

BRC stood back and gave notice would cease to be guarantor. ACE UK, RECOUP joined as guarantors.



LARAC and CPI became guarantors. BRC ceased to be guarantor. We also sponsored our first UK Packaging Awards. We're now at around 200 members.

Guidelines review involved multiple stakeholders for the first time. It flagged future need for final fate of packaging materials to be included in recyclability assessment but no data available so still council collections data underpinning designations. Wording changes to Check Locally and Not Yet Recycled. We recruited a Membership and Marketing Manager on a contract basis. Membership started to grow more rapidly.



Alupro and INCPEN became guarantors. Governance review decided to bring new skills (HR, waste management, Digital) onto Board and new appointments made and we appointed part-time Executive Director. Our Recyclability Assessment tool launched. We’re now at around 300 members.

10th Anniversary celebrations and we started to directly employ staff for the first time and bring services in-house, with a new Membership Service Manager, Member Support Executive, Marketing and Sales Manager and Commercial Manager appointed. We also implemented a major overhaul of the Guidelines (now named Labelling Rules) with wider stakeholder involvement. Changes to designations based on ISO14021 principles i.e., collections, sortation, reprocessing and final markets. Move to binary labelling with Recycle and Don’t Recycle labelling. Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association became a guarantor. We reach 400 members.



Our full time Executive Director joined the team, we developed a new purpose statement and we reached 500 members. We also launched our labelling tool allowing members to answer set questions to produce print ready label artwork. We then adapted, with the rest of the world to working within a pandemic.

British Glass became guarantor and we committed to actions under the Sustainable Development Goals. We appointed a new Member and Audit Admin and Marketing and Sales Executive. We launched our first refill labels and reached 650 members.



We're already at 750 members and only half way through the year. We've launched 3 new specialist film labels and UK only labels. We're working with the Government and across the packaging industry to understand impending Government legislations including EPR, DRS and Consistent Collections and the impact they will have on our members.

In 2023 we became a certified B Corp company. The B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.


Our purpose

To collaborate across the packaging cycle to drive circularity and a transformation in packaging resource efficiency.

Our values


In pursuing our purpose, we collaborate across all material sectors and take views independently of all associations, customers, Government and non-governmental organisations. We are a stand-alone organisation but we work in partnership with multiple stakeholders.


We seek to find new ways to reduce the quantity of resources used in packaging in the UK as well as to increase the ability of packaging created to be re-used and incorporated into the packaging supply cycle. We seek to find new ways to help the UK consumer recycle more effectively, more often.


We take all possible steps to ensure we understand issues across all material sectors. Our Guarantors represent almost all material sectors to ensure the various sectors have full representation in our thinking. Our staff and Board include technical and creative competencies to ensure we have expertise that can rapidly progress our goals.


We consider our social, environmental and financial impacts. We seek to incorporate diversity and equal opportunities in recruitment/HR policies. We have a carbon strategy. We seek to lead the way on recycling. Our staff have volunteer opportunities. We seek to influence the resource efficiency and carbon strategies of our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.

Our Governance

The Board of Independent Directors come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some have a retail or manufacturing background so understand the challenges faced when designing, specifying and manufacturing packaging. Others come from local and central government, resource management, charity, environmental compliance and marketing backgrounds. Our Chair has been involved in the scheme since before its launch in 2009, as have two other Directors.

Who's on Board

Our Operating Model

We operate the OPRL scheme under an exclusive licence from WRAP to use the ‘Recycle Now’ iconography. Under the scheme OPRL Ltd sub-licenses this right on an annually renewable basis to any company designing, manufacturing or placing own brand or branded consumer packaging on the UK market, whether or not they are themselves based in the UK.  It is not permissible to use the ‘Recycle Now’ swoosh or any derivative images on packaging while outside OPRL membership: we enforce our rights.

We also provide a number of online tools and services under license or via contracts with third party providers.

Our Guarantors

As a company limited by guarantee, we are backed by organisations sharing our objective of maximising the effective recycling of packaging materials, but who do not have any controlling or financial interest in OPRL Ltd. We report to them annually on our progress against our Business Strategy at our AGM each November. 

Meet our Guarantors

Our Organisational Commitments

Living Wage Employer

We are a Living Wage Employer with the Living Wage Foundation (LWF). We undertake to pay our staff rates greater than LWF’s Living Wage, to give annual cost of living rises meeting LWF’s annual calculation and to work with our suppliers to secure the same conditions for their staff.

UK Plastics Pact

As a founding member we made ten commitments for delivery by December 2020. In January 2021 we reported progress to WRAP and to our membership: eight were delivered in full. We are aligning work on a verified recycled content label with the Government’s Plastic Tax, coming into effect in April 2022.

We’ve also taken action to support specific initiatives underpinning Pact targets on 100% of plastics packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable and 70% of plastics packaging being effectively recycled. Our REFILL labels support the roll out of reuse systems and reduction of single-use packaging and our ‘Certified as Recyclable’ service ensures recyclability claims are valid. Extending our specialist film label to PP films will support new in-store take-back facilities being rolled out by supermarkets with brand-owner support.

Read our UK Plastics Pact Report
Certified B Corp

In 2023 we became a certified B Corp company. The global standard of B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, with applicants required to achieve the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.