Design tool ensures OPRL members meet Plastics Pact criteria

As part of its commitment to the UK Plastics Pact, launched last week in London, OPRL made ten bold commitments to support its members in delivering the UK plastics reduction and recyclability goals.

The recycling label not-for-profit has now signed a contract with Prep Design Pty to deliver the online interactive design tool which will enable all OPRL members to ensure they design packaging which meets the Pact’s criteria.

OPRL set out its intentions in Commitment 6:

“2018:  Launch our sustainable packaging design tool as a standard part of membership, enabling members to meet their UK Plastics Pact commitments by designing packaging which both avoids unrecyclable plastics and ensures design aids easy separation and recycling of components.”

OPRL and PREP Design will now move rapidly to alpha testing the tool, already functioning in Australia, while UK research is undertaken in parallel to identify the design parameters which support the UK Plastics Pact, or where UK collections and processing infrastructure lead to a different recyclability status.  The tool will move to beta testing later in the summer.

Speaking about the project Stuart Lendrum, executive director of OPRL, said: “We’ve been exploring how we can support members in providing an easy, online and interactive design tool which gives a realistic recyclability assessment for some time now.  We are clear that the PREP tool is best in class and will give members the functionality they require, so we’re very excited to have secured an exclusive UK licence to this proven solution.”

“It will enable different parts of the packaging supply chain to talk together with a common language and shared understanding essential to making rapid progress towards the paradigm shift we have all pledged to achieve.  The tool also has the scope to enable global portfolios to be developed in future, underpinning the wider aims of the New Plastics Economy initiative.”

Anthony Peyton, chief executive and founder of PREP Design Pty, said: “PREP Design is very pleased to be working with OPRL, WRAP and Axion Consulting to adapt the PREP to equip UK brand owners with the capacity to design 100% recyclable packaging.  PREP is the world’s only design tool that simulates a nation’s recycling ecosystem and provides immediate feedback to explain why an item is not recyclable.”

“PREP was originally developed for the Australian and then New Zealand markets and is now used by members of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to underpin the Australasian Recycling Label. This provides an opportunity for the UK to collaborate on further research and enhancements.”

Commenting further Jane Bevis, chair of OPRL, added: “We’ve trailed this development for some time now, but it has been crucial to get the right solution, delivered in a way that meets the needs of OPRL members.  Working with colleagues at PREP Design we’re confident we have a superb answer for designers, specifiers and innovators.  This is an exciting new offer for us which we believe adds enormous value to membership.”

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