What we do

UK's independent experts in recyclability of packaging

At OPRL, our team provides expert support and tools to help businesses navigate the complexities of recyclability of packaging. We also represent our members in key industry discussions, ensure their voice is heard and their packaging and labelling decisions are made with the latest knowledge and insight. All this working to achieve OPRL’s vision of A world where packaging doesn’t go to waste.

About our labels

Our labelling system takes account of the whole recycling process from council and in-store collections to sorting at MRFs as well as assessing the likelihood of material being reprocessed into recyclate and used in packaging or other products. Where possible, we promote the use of two primary labels:

  • Recycle – 75% or more of UK local authorities collect this type of packaging through household recycling collections. It is then effectively sorted, processed, and sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products.
  • Do Not Recycle – Fewer than 50% of UK local authorities collect this type of packaging through household recycling collections, and/or it is not effectively sorted, processed or sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products.

We have a handful of specialist labels for packaging collected through alternative routes, and our labels can include component specific instructions too.

Refill labels are also available. These have been developed and consumer-tested to enable OPRL members to engage their customers in using refill systems appropriately.

Widely recognised labels

3 out of 4 consumers recognise and act on OPRL recycling labels and we’re recognised by the UN Environment Programme as international best practice.

Becoming a Member

Membership is available to all companies, from start-ups to major corporations, and allows the use of our widely recognised recycling labels on their packaging. Membership benefits include a range of supportive tools, knowledge sharing, making connections and keeping up-to-date with industry developments.

More about becoming a member

Membership support when you need it

As a member, we provide you with the information you need to choose the right recycling label for your packaging, through our tools exclusively available to OPRL members and support from our Membership Services team.

Once you become a member, we will issue you with log in details to the Members’ Area of our website. There you’ll find our Labelling Rules to help you understand how and when to use our labels. We also have an artwork labelling tool which will help you select the labels you need and download them to use straight away.

Member tools

With our membership you also have access to tools which enable you to determine the recyclability of your packaging based on the current UK collection and reprocessing infrastructure.

"If we have specific questions about member tools, we can approach the team and rely on their help. We go to them because they're knowledgeable and supportive."

Collaboration and knowledge share

The support we give our members is underpinned by the collaboration and knowledge share we undertake continually with governments and organisations across the sector. We work closely with the UK Government and devolved nations on policies that impact our members, and other organisations across the packaging industry, to ensure that we provide our members with the most up-to-date information on decisions that impact their organisations in relation to packaging.

More about who we work with

Additional products and services

In addition to our core labelling system, we offer additional products and services which provide support and guidance to our members. And they are evolving. Our Certified as Recyclable service, exclusively available to our members, enables technical assessments to be made on packaging which is new to the market and has not been previously assessed.

More about Certification