50 Companies Add U.K.-Specific Recycling Label to Packaging

50 Companies Add U.K.-Specific Recycling Label to Packaging

Fifty companies have now signed up to use a standard, United Kingdom-specific recycling label for packaging. The on-pack recycling label program, being implemented by the British Recycling Consortium (BRC), is an attempt to set up one common recycling label for use on packaging in the U.K. and to increase recycling rates.

The label indicates the material that different packaging parts are made of and says whether the material is "widely recycled," if consumers should "check local recycling" to see if the material is accepted or if the material is "not currently recycled."

The 50 companies - including HJ Heinz, Kellogg's and Molson Coors - that have signed up for the label have put it on 50,000 different product lines. More than 85 percent of the U.K.'s grocery market (by turnover) has signed up, along with recent additions like PepsiCo, London 2012 and Yeo Valley.

Procter & Gamble is one company that won't be using the label, though. The company told Packaging News that it does not anticipate using the recycling label because it packages products that go to several different countries, and feels it would not be appropriate to have U.K.-specific labels on products in countries outside of the U.K.

The label was introduced seven months ago, and the BRC aims to have at least 60 companies signed up for using the label by its one-year anniversary.

The "widely recycled" statement means that 65 percent or more of recyclers in the U.K. collect the material. "Check local recycling" means 15-65 percent of local recyclers accept it. And "not currently recycled" means that 15 percent or fewer recycle a material.

The BRC plans to keep tabs on how many recyclers collect different materials with the help of the Waste & Resources Action Programme so they can update the labels.

Any retailer, manufacturer or brand owner that puts packaged consumer goods in the U.K. market can sign up to use the label. Companies must pay a £700 annual fee, and charities or small, independent businesses pay a £275 annual fee.