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Environmental Packaging Week event announcement

Environmental Packaging Week event announcement

The Environmental Packaging Summit will this year be held as an online event over a week.

The Environmental Packaging Summit will this year be held as an online event over a week. Titled Environmental Packaging Week, the five day event starts on the 9 November, running for approximately 90 minutes each day.

Journalist Lucy Siegle will open the event with a talk on single-use packaging and she’ll be followed by lively and informative talks and panel discussions including representatives from Coca-Cola European Partners, Campaign for Rural England, DS Smith, WRAP, FPA and more to be confirmed.

The online audience will be able to ask questions during the sessions. Click here for more information.

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Environmental Packaging Week | OPRL launches new UK certification scheme

Environmental Packaging Week | OPRL launches new UK certification scheme

OPRL, whose chair Jane Bevis, will be a panellist at Environmental Packaging Week, recently launched a new UK Certification scheme – Certified As Recyclable – to provide thoroughly evaluated and tested recyclability assessments.

Initially available for rigid and flexible plastic packaging in partnership with RECOUP, the scheme will be extended across all packaging materials and will align with OPRL’s Labelling Rules and PREP self-evaluation assessments.

The new Certified As Recyclable scheme is available exclusively to OPRL members and supports them in ensuring they deliver against UK Plastics Pact and other sustainability commitments. Certification will provide assurance that the packaging type and materials are collected in the UK for recycling, are effectively sorted for recycling at UK MRFs and PRFs, and the materials recycled by reprocessors with an effective market for the resulting recyclate. Assessments will be made against the evidence base underpinning OPRL’s Recycling Labelling Scheme, their PREP UK online self-evaluation tool with new tests at MRFs and PRFs where new evidence is needed.

These technical assessments will be undertaken by RECOUP. Jane Bevis, chair of OPRL said: "For some time now we’ve been concerned about the level of greenwash and overclaiming evident in the packaging market. It’s really tough for any but the most practised packaging technologist to keep up with the latest coatings, pigments, bonding and material combinations and their impact on recyclability. So we’re delighted to be able to bring clarity and robust analysis to bear with Certified As Recyclable, enabling buyers and specifiers to ensure they are sourcing the right packaging to deliver their sustainability commitments.”

Margaret Bates, executive director, added: "Recyclability is all about getting the specification and design right in the first place, matching it to the UK’s recycling infrastructure. Certified As Recyclable is unique in providing evidence that that has been achieved for both rigid and flexible plastic packaging. It delivers the transparency and accountability many stakeholders are now calling for, and we’re delighted that our guarantor and colleagues at RECOUP are partnering with us to deliver a truly robust assessment, including new ‘real world’ testing at MRFs where evidence is currently lacking.”

Commenting on the partnership, Stuart Foster, chief executive of RECOUP, said: “We’re delighted that our ongoing close partnership with OPRL has led to this first phase of their Certified As Recyclable scheme, which complements our wider work in this area. As well drawing on our technical expertise and knowledge we’ll be undertaking on-site testing at MRFs and PRFs, expanding the knowledge base of what works within UK infrastructure – and in the process identifying barriers to increasing effective recycling of plastics. It’s a great example of a collaboration between two leading recycling organisations that will bring major benefits to drive up recycling and drive out bad design.”

OPRL’s Certified As Recyclable scheme launches as part of Recycle Week 2020 and is available immediately for rigid and flexible plastic packaging ranges. Further materials will be added as part of a phased roll out. Once certified as recyclable the packaging can be marketed using the scheme marque and businesses buying the packaging can use the certificate details as part of their internal audit trail on the recyclability of their plastic packaging. They can also be certain that the OPRL ‘Recycle’ or Specialist recycling label can be used on packaging to prompt consumer action, streamlining assessment processes.

Jane Bevis will be on the panel on Friday 13 November discussing post-pandemic recycling.

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Environmental Packaging Week | Carbon emissions challenge addressed by CPI

Environmental Packaging Week | Carbon emissions challenge addressed by CPI

Steve Freeman, director of environmental and energy affairs, Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) will be speaking at the event about the industry's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The issue was recently brought up at the CPI's conference. 

Speaking at the Conference of Paper Industries’(CPI)  biennial industry conference, Miles Roberts said that the government’s set target meant that the company had “no option” but he didn’t currently know how the corrugated packaging giant would hit the target. He added that this was a challenge for the industry as a whole. “We believe we can get to 80% but it’s about closing that 20%,” he said.

“We are going to have to find the technology to do it because this will be legislated. This sector uses a lot of power. But we are doing simple things at the moment.” Roberts also urged the industry to show leadership and responsibility on the sustainable debate and warned that “we are going to see more and more legislation happening” in this area.

“We know our industry – it needs to be in our hands,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, which was held in Kenilworth, was CPI director general Andrew Large. He called for any drive towards carbon neutrality to be “genuinely global”. “We need a sustained policy for the next 30 years – not short term initiatives,” said Large.

The Pressure to reduce carbon discussion will take place on Tuesday 10 November.

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