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OPRL consortium wins £150k Innovate UK funding for packaging data to drive sustainability

The consortium aims to address the lack of comprehensive, up-to-date data on the recyclability of packaging and where it can be recycled.

OPRL and its consortium partners will deliver next generation data services for decision makers in businesses, government and regulators, including a feasibility study and prototype data services on plastic packaging and its recyclability.

The partners collaborating on the project include EcosuretyDsposal, RECOUP and Open Data Manchester. The Innovate UK funding is crucial in enabling the specialist and innovative not-for-profits to work together with enterprising compliance scheme Ecosurety to develop common data resources that deliver public benefits rather than commercial profit.

Supporting better decision making

The partnership will investigate how to support businesses, government and consumers to make better decisions on plastic packaging. For businesses it will provide accurate and useful data at the design stage and in the development of packaging to improve recyclability.

The project will also support policy makers, regulators and those co-ordinating sector initiatives in monitoring progress on plastics recycling and voluntary agreements such as The UK Plastics Pact.

Importantly, it will also enable consumers to understand how to recycle correctly and make informed choices at the point of purchase, with one third of consumers now checking packaging recyclability when making purchasing decisions.

With each partner bringing particular expertise in open data sourcing and data warehousing, packaging data, plastic packaging design and recyclability, the consortium will develop a prototype Open Data standard, a portal providing packaging type, polymer and recycling information, and a supporting portal with data on all UK recycling points, HRWC and kerbside services.

The funding focuses on plastic packaging specifically, but the principles established will enable extension to other materials in future to provide a comprehensive single point of reference. The project is due to complete in November 2022.

Revolutionising collective understanding

Jane Skelton, Commercial Manager at OPRL and Consortium Project Manager, said "We’re thrilled to have received this award of £150k from Innovate UK to enable us to make progress in this vital area of hard, accurate, up-to-date and accessible data on packaging and recycling. We’ve assembled a fantastic team with Dsposal, RECOUP, Open Data Manchester and Ecosurety, each of whom bring their own special expertise to the project."

"Together we can build something that revolutionises our collective understanding of what’s really happening in the production, capture and recycling of plastic packaging and helps to shape better decisions. In other words, delivering on our mission to collaborate to drive circularity and a transformation in resource efficiency in packaging."

"We want to be sure these tools provide decision-makers with what they need so we’ll be talking to OPRL members and other key stakeholders, including colleagues in government. We’re keen to hear what are the ‘must haves’ and what would be desirable features of the data portals."

If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact our team.


Ben Luger

Marketing communication specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 to help drive the marketing communications for Ecosurety, working closely with all areas of the business to help spread the good word!


Written by Ben Luger Published 05/08/2021 Topics Packaging
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