An open data project designed to report on packaging composition has recently extended its coverage beyond plastic to include all common packaging materials.

The creators of the Open 3P data standard have announced its expansion to encompass glass, metals, paper, fibre-based composites and wood. Originally focused on plastic packaging, the Open 3P standard has been instrumental in facilitating efficient data capture, sharing and reporting in this area.

The consortium behind Open 3P, consisting of Dsposal, Ecosurety, Open Data Manchester, OPRL and Recoup, developed the standard with funding from UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastics Packaging Challenge. More than 100 organisations involved in the packaging value chain have contributed to its development.

The primary objective of the Open 3P standard is to enable the collation and sharing of packaging data among manufacturers, sellers, recyclers, regulators and government agencies.

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Tiered information structure for packaging data

By providing a framework and common language for sharing compatible packaging data easily, quickly and cost-effectively, the standard aims to enhance transparency and cooperation within the packaging supply chain.

Open Data Manchester chief executive Julian Tait emphasised that Open 3P does not store information but serves as a consistent “recipe” for packaging data collation. Compliance with reporting standards under extended producer responsibility legislation can be facilitated through the use of this standard.

The Open 3P data standard operates on a tiered layers system, allowing users to provide a basic description of their packaging, such as the core material and add more detailed information as necessary, including barrier film layers, adhesives, or components.

Promoting sustainability and environmental awareness

Ecosurety director of compliance and data services Luke Wilson stressed the importance of data in driving progress towards sustainable packaging.

He noted that the Open 3P standard, in addition to aligning with ongoing packaging legislation reforms, has the potential to support and accelerate broader changes leading to a circular economy in the UK.

Project partners believe that widespread adoption of the Open 3P data standard could help reduce the environmental footprint of packaging.

By promoting a better understanding of packaging composition throughout the supply chain, the standard can support improved recycling practices and facilitate the identification of areas where sustainability can be enhanced.

The Open 3P initiative represents a significant step forward in revolutionising the way packaging data is collected, shared and utilised, with the ultimate goal of fostering a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.