APCO announces recycled materials pledge

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

Friday, 13 May, 2022

APCO announces recycled materials pledge

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has announced the Recycled Materials Pledge. This initiative is designed to increase the uptake of recycled materials being used in packaging by challenging major brands to publicly commit the volumes of specific materials they will use as they transition from using virgin materials to recycled ones by 2025.

The commitment is important because increasing the amount of recycled material used is a key component of the 2025 National Packaging Targets (NPT). APCO hopes that the pledge will demonstrate the level of demand that currently exists for recycled content in the Australian market, thus potentially driving investment in recycling facilities.

“The Pledge will give fresh impetus to the uptake of recycled content. Being able to demonstrate firm commitments from businesses will showcase the significant demand that exists in the market for recycled materials — and give broader industry the motivation to step up to meet this demand,” said APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly.

“An item of packaging is only truly recycled when it is used again, so the importance of this initiative cannot be overstated. Significantly reducing our reliance on virgin materials will decrease the pressure we put on the planet’s finite resources and ensure that valuable materials are not simply lost to landfill.”

Any pledges made will be analysed and aggregated by APCO before being shared publicly to give clarity on market demand. This will then allow APCO to understand government and industry needs for using recycled materials.

“For some businesses, the Pledge is the initial step in their sustainability journey while, for others, it will reinforce current commitments to circularity. Regardless, the Pledge will help businesses to play their role in the development of a circular economy and work together to move Australia towards a more sustainable future for packaging,” Donnelly said.

While Australian businesses have made good progress under the NPT towards using recycled content for packaging, it lags behind in terms of material-specific targets, especially for plastic packaging. APCO is hoping that the new pledge initiative will help address this.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/vegefox.com

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