The Open Data Standard for packaging was developed to support efficient and consistent data reporting for plastic packaging. It has now been expanded to include all common packaging materials including glass, metals, paper, fibre-based composites and wood.
What are Open Standards?
Open Standards are standards that are free to adopt, implement and extend. They are usually developed and maintained through consensus and collaboration. They are already widely used – HTML, the standard global markup language for creating Web pages, is a good example – and have driven transformational change in areas including open banking and government IT.
The Open 3P Data Standard has been collaboratively developed by a consortium of industry partners comprising Dsposal, Ecosurety, Open Data Manchester, OPRL and RECOUP, with funding from UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastics Packaging Challenge.
How will the Open 3P Data Standard benefit producers?
Over 100 stakeholders across the packaging value chain have imputed into the Open 3P Data Standard. The aim is to help everyone involved in manufacturing, selling, and recycling packaging to collect, and share packaging data with one another, with regulators, and with government agencies to comply with current and forthcoming environmental legislation.
With the new packaging Extended Producer Responsibility legislation requiring organisations to collate and report more data on the packaging they put onto the market from the 1 January this year, the standard has the potential to help reduce the administrative burden, as well as facilitate and speed up routine supply chain data requests.
“Open 3P provides a framework and a ‘common language’ to allow the packaging supply chain and its customers to share compatible packaging data easily, quickly, and cost effectively,” explains Julian Tait, CEO of Open Data Manchester, the independent, not-for-profit organisation that is developing the standard on behalf of the industry. “It doesn’t store information, it simply provides a consistent ‘recipe’ that everyone can follow in collating their packaging data.”
How will the standard work?
The standard has been designed to be flexible for ease of use, with tiered layers of information. Users can start with simple descriptions of the packaging, such as it’s core material and can build in more detail if necessary. This might include different barrier film layers and adhesives, for example, or components such as plastic caps, sealing strips, nozzles and ring pulls Other key data categories include end-of-life management options and external identifiers such as product codes and chemical identifiers.
If widely adopted, the project partners believe Open 3P could also help to lower the environmental footprint of packaging by promoting a better understanding of the composition of packaging formats in the supply chain, supporting improved recycling, and making it easier to identify areas where sustainability can be improved.
Luke Wilson, Compliance and Data Services Director at Ecosurety, commented: “We fully support the goals of the Open 3P Data Standard to bring more consistency and transparency to the data that's put out into the market. Data is the cornerstone to progress on more sustainable packaging and as well as being aligned to the ongoing packaging legislation reforms, the standard has the potential to support and accelerate wider change towards a UK circular economy.”
Access to the Open 3P Data Standard and more information can be found here.
Join the upcoming webinar
On 17 July, there will be a free open webinar on the Standard, in collaboration with IOM3, looking at how to ‘take the pain out of packaging data’. Attendees will gain understanding of:
- What an Open Standard is and how the Open 3P standard for packaging has been developed for and with the sector.
- How different stakeholders perceive the value of the Standard and the benefit to their business of a consistent approach to data
- The wider sectoral and sustainability benefits that can be realised with better and more sharable data
You can book a free place here.