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UK’s first postcode specific recycling tool Recycle Router launched today

Camilla Rydzek
08 December 2021

The UK’s first postcode specific recycling tool, the Recycle Router, has launched today, allowing consumers to check if they can locally recycled used packaging.

Created in a collaborative effort between recycling charity WRAP, sustainable consultancy Valpak and sustainable communications company Provenance, consumers can access the Recycle Router by scanning a QR code on the packaging, or by going online.

After entering their postcode, they will be able to see if their packaging can be recycled in their local area or if there is a recycling centre nearby they could drop the product off at.

Companies would need to sign up with Provenance to enable their packaging to be included in the Router.

One of the applications for the new tool is to recycle beauty packaging, with founder of MARA Beauty, Allison McNamara commenting: “One of our top priorities is making sure your MARA doesn't end up in a landfill, but recycling isn't always as simple as dropping your bottle into a blue bin. I love that now you can type in your postal code and see exactly how to recycle your components specifically in your area – brilliant!”

The Recycle Router tackles the fact that many Brits are confused about the recycling system, with two thirds not able to identify the meaning of the most widely used product packaging symbols.

This is also one of the challenges that the UK Government aims to tackle via new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation that will come into force in 2023. This will mandating that all packaging must at least be clearly and consistently labelled to inform consumers as to whether it can be recycled.

Jessi Baker, CEO and founder of Provenance, commented, “Brands making genuine and significant investments in positive social and environmental impact, including sustainable packaging, are unable to cut through the noise of unfounded and inconsistent impact claims. Recycle Router allows brands to differentiate themselves at the point of purchase by claiming credit for genuine recyclability while empowering shoppers with clear, localised guidance on packaging disposal options.”

Valpak CEO, Steve Gough, added: “We’ve heard from brands who want to take greater ownership of their products’ post-purchase impact. With Provenance, we’re excited to be enabling this by solving regional inconsistencies and easing shopper confusion with actionable instructions.

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