Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Informing customers for a greener world

Clearly, for clothing, a big issue is reuse and recycling of the products at the end of their lives, but packaging matters too.

The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) celebrated its first birthday on Thursday by signing up its 70th company. Arcadia has recently joined a long list, which now includes John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and the big supermarkets, as well as other retailers and manufacturers.

Nought to 70 in 12 months wouldn’t impress Jeremy Clarkson but progress this rapid is a huge tribute to the BRC environment team and to the worth of the scheme.

Clearly, for clothing, a big issue is reuse and recycling of the products at the end of their lives, but packaging matters too.

We launched the label to meet customers’ needs for clear and consistent messaging on how to dispose of packaging. Many people were confused by the different symbols that had evolved and what is or isn’t recyclable locally, especially given the different recycling systems adopted by each of the UK’s 400-plus local authorities.

The simple on-pack label has three categories; widely recycled, check locally and not currently recycled, to show how likely it is that a particular piece of packaging can be recycled. The OPRL is there to help households send more of the material that can already be recycled to be recycled .

It’s early days yet but the more widely OPRL is used the more effective it will be. We believe the label will become the industry standard for labelling recyclability.

OPRL has been adopted as part of the Government’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. It is a wide-ranging roadmap for making the sector more sustainable and it now recommends clothing retailers and manufacturers sign up to the scheme. So, to those that haven’t, come and join us at www.oprl.org.uk.

Stephen Robertson is director general of the British Retail Consortium

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.