The Oil Care Campaign hailed a success 20 years after launching

Thu, Oct 29, 2015

This year, the Oil Care Campaign turned 20 - and in celebration, a conference and exhibition were held at a venue near Birmingham. Since 1995, when the Oil Care Campaign (OCC) was launched, oil pollution incidents in the UK have fallen by a whopping 60%.

Speakers at the conference hailed the campaign’s success as “an example of what can be achieved when industry and regulators work together.”

The OCC is a joint initiative between the UK environmental regulators, trade & professional bodies and industry, and are funded by voluntary donations and business sponsors. The Oil Care Campaign provide advice, help look after and dispose of oil safely and legally, and supply oil tank stickers for domestic, industrial and waste oil tanks. These stickers provide advice on oil storage, remind users to get their annual tank check and tell you what to do if there’s an oil spill.

Oil Care logo

Oil plays a vital part in day-to-day life and even if a small amount is spilled, it can impact our water, plant and wildlife resources. After researching and seeing that over 3000 oil pollution reports were made each year, the OCC was launched.

The following aims were put together in order to help reduce this figure:

1. To develop and provide guidance for domestic, commercial and industrial users on the safe handling, storage and recovery of oils, to reduce the environmental impact of spills from poor practices in the storage, use and disposal of oils.

2. To promote improved infrastructure for the collection of used oil from the public.

3. To raise awareness of oil recovery through promotion of the Oil Care Code, the Oil Bank Information Line (03708 506 506), the Oil Bank website ( and provision of Oil Care information on oil product packaging, in car maintenance manuals, oil storage tanks etc.

Since their launch, oil pollution incidents reported across England and Wales have fallen by around 60 – from a high of over 6,900 in 1994 to below 2,450 last year.

Talking at the conference was Robert Light, deputy chairman of the Environment Agency, who praised the “huge record of success” that the OCC have achieved, said that the industry should be “very proud” of the 60% drop in oil pollution incidents.

As well as the conference covering the success of the campaign, a presentation was also given about looking ahead and seeing what the future holds – as oil remains the second most common pollutant reported to environmental regulators.

Closing his address at the conference, Robert Light asked: “What is the target for the next 10 years?”, and suggested that a further drop of 50% in oil incidents would be a good figure to aim for.