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Joining the OPRL scheme

30 September 2020

Biffa joins OPRL scheme to promote clearer labelling for recycling

Biffa, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management business, is delighted to confirm it hasjoined OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label). The not-for-profit organisation aims to deliver simple and consistent recycling labels for packaging on goods, in order to help consumers recycle more effectively and ultimately help to increase the UK’s recycling rates.

While the OPRL scheme already has over 570 members in the UK, reflecting the whole value chain including packaging manufacturers, brands and retailers, Biffa is joining OPRL’s brand-new waste management division. Biffa will play a vital role, applying its experience and expertise in recycling and waste management to advise other OPRL members on the development of sustainable packaging.

Joining OPRL supports Biffa’s strategic pillar to build a circular economy in the UK, as part of its long-term sustainability plan. Biffa is a major investor in green recycling infrastructure, such as its recently opened state-of-the-art £27.5m plastic recycling facility in County Durham, and is focused on helping the UK to recycle more through advocating clearer labelling, more recyclable packaging and better education on recycling for consumers (see Biffa’s Recycling Collections paper from April 2019). OPRL’s clear recycling labelling has been specifically designed to help reduce confusion about recycling and therefore increase recycling rates. Biffa will further support by working with its local authority customers by developing communications assets for their recycling campaigns, which promote the simpler labelling scheme.

Roger Wright, Waste Strategy and Packaging Manager at Biffa, commented: “The OPRL scheme is an exciting opportunity to maximise recycling within an emerging circular economy. We aspire to a future where labelling communications are simple, smart, and dynamic, and backing the OPRL scheme will help to achieve this. We look forward to holding a unique position as a waste manager where we consult with the packaging producers and brands to help them develop more sustainable packaging, as well as with the local authorities we work with to promote the OPRL scheme and its benefits.”

Margaret Bates, Executive Director of OPRL Ltd commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Biffa as a member of OPRL helping to deliver our purpose “to collaborate across the packaging supply chain to drive circularity and a transformation in resource efficiency”.  Having Biffa on board will help us further strengthen the end to end service members receive.   With an eye to future Extended Producer Responsibility provisions, it is vital that the whole value chain work together to ensure that recyclability assessment includes both infrastructure and technical recyclability, as reflected in our  Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal – PREP tool and our new Certified As Recyclable scheme.  This collaborative approach will help retailers and brands manage their packaging range with circularity fully embedded."

About Biffa 

Biffa has been at the forefront of the UK’s waste industry for over a hundred years, with operations that span the entire breadth of the waste management process including collection, recycling, treatment, disposal and energy generation. We exist to change the way people think about waste; to help people see the opportunities that exist when we manage our waste in the right way, and to make that happen. We understand the vital role we must play in helping the UK to address the climate emergency and deliver sustainable growth. This involves an ambitious investment programme in green economy infrastructure and low carbon collections, alongside an ongoing commitment to sector leadership in the health, safety and wellbeing of our people. Biffa is a Great British company. In FY20, the Group's total revenue was £1,102.8m and its Underlying EBITDA was £174.0m. We have been listed on the London Stock Exchange since October 2016 under the ticker "BIFF". In March 2020, Biffa entered the FTSE-250. 

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