CONSTANT RE-ENGAGEMENT of householders in recycling is essential, says the EFRA. Select Committee, and requires refreshed and renewed communication campaigns. Unlike Wales, where recycling has already reached 52%, England risks missing the EU recycling target of 50% by 2020 if consumers are not helped to understand what to recycle.
OPRL strongly supports the Committee’s calls for renewed activity on giving consumers clear communications locally and nationally. On-pack advice has a strong role too.
In its report “Waste Management in England” published today, 22 October, the Committee estimates that only 1 in 4 households recycles correctly, and identifies three areas where consumers need to understand more:
• What can and cannot be recycled;
• What happens to recycled materials, and;
• Problems caused by contamination of recycled material.
Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL Ltd, said: “We completely endorse the Select Committee’s conclusions on the need to give consumers clear guidance on recycling, and to reinforce that advice again and again. The On-Pack Recycling Label does just that, providing detailed information on each element of packaging so that consumers know whether to put it in the recycling bin or out with the waste. Over 160 companies use our label on their packaging and this widespread use means 6 in 10 consumers now recognise it.”
“We are dedicated to promoting greater recycling, while avoiding contamination of materials going to the processors - our members use the resulting recycled product in their packaging and want it to be of a high quality. But with great variations in local authority recycling services it’s very confusing for consumers. That’s why our label, showing if something is widely recycled or not recyclable, or whether you need to check your local services, is so essential.”
“The more companies that join in this private sector initiative and the more local authorities that back it, the more effective any Defra-funded national communications will be.”
The EFRA Select Committee acknowledges the 400 different recycling systems across England cause confusion, particularly for those working or travelling in, or moving to, different areas. This confusion undermines confidence and motivation. Recycling rates are only 12% in some local authority areas, whereas best practice can achieve 67% where simple, well communicated systems engage consumers. The On-Pack Recycling Label reinforces this effort by re-assuring consumers that individual items of packaging can and should be recycled.