In response to the recent announcement of a one-year delay to the roll-out of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) is cautioning businesses against complacency.

Margaret Bates, the Managing Director at OPRL, emphasises that this delay presents an opportunity for businesses to make constructive use of the time.

Early preparations will not only lead to lower fee costs but also demonstrate a strong brand response.

EPR’s role in driving recyclability and consumer attitudes

EPR, a system designed to enhance recyclability and its associated benefits, is gaining traction worldwide and will significantly impact large businesses. For the UK, it is vital to recognise EPR as the direction of travel in recycling, rather than a standalone piece of legislation.

Recent OPRL research reveals that consumers are strongly behind recycling, with 81% agreeing that it is very important, despite the cost-of-living crisis. With or without EPR, consumers are likely to demand greater recyclability.

OPRL’s advice to businesses: prepare for EPR compliance

Under EPR regulations, all packaging must carry labels indicating whether it is recyclable or not. OPRL currently manages the only label compliant with EPR rules.

Therefore, businesses are advised to start the process of ensuring their packaging is recyclable and properly labelled as soon as possible.

Bates urges businesses to assess their packaging items’ recyclability and arrange for new labelling, recognising that this may be a significant task for some. Taking early action well before the deadline is crucial.