How our labels work

Recycle? Do Not Recycle?

Recyclability is assessed by looking at how easy it is for consumers to put the packaging into recycling collections, whether the UK’s recycling infrastructure can handle that material/packaging combination, and whether there are markets for the resulting recyclate.

Where possible, our labels take a binary approach i.e. Recycle or Do Not Recycle. This is in line with ISO 14021 for self-declared environmental claims such as recyclability.


75% or more of UK local authorities collect this type of packaging which 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 and/or it is not effectively sorted, processed or sold as recyclate for use in new packaging or products.

Check home collections

A handful of fully recyclable packaging types where collections fall between 50-75% of local authorities will retain the intermediary Check Home Collections status.

Specialist labels, where bring to site or front of store collections enable at least 75% of the population to access collection services feeding reprocessing infrastructure, remain available for beverage cartons, metal paint cans and PE films. In addition we have a Specialist label for coffee cup take back schemes.

We also have REFILL labels which have been developed and consumer-tested to enable OPRL members to engage their customers in using refill systems appropriately.

Accessing label artwork

Once you become a member, we will issue you with log in details for the members area of our website. There you’ll find the Rules for using the labels covering any restrictions and details of which labels should be used for each packaging material and format.

We also have an artwork labelling tool which will help you select the labels you need and allow you to download it for use straight away. The tool asks you a few simple questions about your packaging component, such as the material for your component and whether you have single or multiple components. If the latter, you will repeat the process to add a second and/or third label.

Once you’ve completed the questions, a preview box will appear, and you can then select the colour option and format you require, before downloading your print ready artwork.