Villiers promises new packaging label system

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Villiers said Defra is currently working on clearer labels to boost recycling rates
Hi as the Chairman of my local parish council i take the lead on local environmental issues such ...

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The current labelling system for packaging is too confusing and holding back the recycling rate, according to new environment secretary Theresa Villiers

A clearer labelling system on packaging will be introduced across England to inform people what can and cannot be recycled, Villiers has promised.

Speaking to The Times, she said: “The means of delivering increased rates of recycling is ensuring that people have a better understanding of what is recyclable and how to do it. This is an important issue for us as government. We are working on clearer labels.”

One of the most confusing symbols for consumers is the ‘green dot’ which looks like a recycling symbol, but instead means an offsetting fee has been paid towards recycling of other materials given the packaging cannot be recycled in standard systems.

Not-for-profit body OPRL is currently carrying out a review to make labels clearer, with rules planned to be launched by the end of the year.

A study by INCPEN and WRAP last month found there was significant support for a nationalised recycling standard.

Theresa Villiers replaced Michael Gove as environment secretary last month following Boris Johnson's election as prime minister and subsequent cabinet reshuffle.

David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, said a"A purchase by colour and recycle by numbers system solves the twin challenge of empowering consumers to make more sustainable choices and harmonising bin collection systems, making it simpler to recycle without having to spend a fortune on new ‘binfrastructure’.

"Under this system, it would no longer matter what colour or shape your bins are, and we will all continue to use what we have – but with clear instructions on the packet to make recycling simple and help us make informed shopping choices."

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as the Chairman of my local parish council i take the lead on local environmental issues such as recycling and agree labelling is confusing for people. Is there any merit in using a simple colour coding system on the packaging linked to the colour of a Nationalised bin colour scheme

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