OPRL appoints Professor Margaret Bates as executive director

As OPRL (the On-Pack Recycling Label Ltd) membership and services continue to expand apace, the not-for-profit has appointed Professor Margaret Bates as its first full time executive director.

Former CIWM President, Margaret will lead the team established in OPRL’s new Banbury offices, charged with making the voluntary recycling labelling scheme ‘match fit for mandatory’, the ongoing development a suite of services to support members in preparing for Extended Producer Responsibility Reforms and continuing both to grow and expand the breadth of OPRL membership.

A widely known, highly respected independent figure in the waste and resources world, Margaret’s appointment will further embed OPRL’s role as an independent, evidence-based meeting point for all parts of the packaging circular economy. The appointment comes as OPRL prepares to launch the latest revision of its Recycling Labelling Rules adopting ISO 14021 methodology and strengthens compliance audits to ISO 19011 standards.

Margaret’s recent time as Chair of CIWM’s Executive Committee means she’s no stranger to leading institutional reform

Jane Bevis, Chair of OPRL Ltd, said “We are delighted to appoint Margaret as Executive Director, a role important at any time but critical at this point in our development as a circularity services company. Her track record as a highly respected and independent researcher and commentator on key issues affecting our sector makes her the ideal person to lead OPRL through the big changes we are navigating currently.

“Her deep and broad knowledge of the strategic issues our sector faces, together with her extensive networks within both the industry and academia, give her a unique, evidence-led perspective that fits perfectly with our mission and values.”

“Margaret’s recent time as Chair of CIWM’s Executive Committee means she’s no stranger to leading institutional reform, invaluable experience as OPRL Ltd strengthens its organisational capacity to meet the challenges of EPR and to further our aspiration to become the UK’s mandatory recycling labelling scheme.”

“I am immensely grateful to Stuart Lendrum for his time as our first ever Executive Director. He achieved a huge amount in a year – many people not even realising the role was part-time – and moved us to be a credible player as our industry reaches this once in a generation sustainability tipping point.

“A huge thanks also to our team, and to Alice Harlock in particular, for all their support as we’ve managed the inter regnum.”

Professor Margaret Bates added: “Consumers want to do the right thing with their packaging but they’re often confused about what can be recycled. OPRL is the most widely recognised recycling label in the UK and so is an invaluable tool in communicating with householders.”

“It’s a very challenging time in the packaging and recycling sectors, with an unprecedented level of interest from the public and politicians. The opportunity to join the team at OPRL and help drive awareness to increase the quality and quantity of UK recycling was one I could not resist.”

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