National Packaging Targets announced, recycling label launched
Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets were announced today at an industry event in Melbourne, building on commitments made by Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association in April this year to set a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste.
Convened by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the event was attended by Minister for the Environment Melissa Price along with leaders from packaging, retail, logistics, manufacturing, recycling and waste management businesses in a pledge to better manage packaging waste.
The 2025 National Packaging Targets are:
- 100% of all Australia’s packaging will be re-usable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier.
- 70% of Australia’s plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025.
- 30% average recycled content will be included across all packaging by 2025.
- Problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives.
Price congratulated APCO, Woolworths and the initial working group of key business leaders in supporting these ambitious targets. Members of the initial working group have also been joined by industry representatives and environmental groups including Aldi, ALGA, Amcor, Australia Post, Boomerang Alliance, Chep, Close the Loop, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coles, Detmold, Goodman Fielder, Lion, Metcash, Nestlé, Orora, Pact Group, Planet Ark, REDcycle, Simplot, Suez, Tetra Pak, Unilever, Veolia, Visy and Woolworths.
“Unilever welcomes today’s event as a critical step towards greater collective action on increasing the nation’s recycling capability,” said Unilever ANZ CEO Clive Stiff. “As a consumer goods company, we are acutely aware of the consequences of a linear take-make-dispose model and we want to change it.
“We are proud to have recently announced that bottles of popular Unilever products like OMO, Dove, Sunsilk, Surf and TRESemmé will soon be made with at least 25% Australian recycled plastic. This represents the first time major brands have come on board to use this type of Australian recycled rigid plastic, and we hope it helps kickstart stronger demand for more recycled plastic in Australia.”
“We’re really pleased to see such a wide range of industry players come together in support of such a worthy goal,” said Alex Holt, General Manager, Quality and Sustainability at Woolworths. “Moving towards a circular economy won’t be easy, but we have the right mix of organisations on board to help make it a reality.”
The event also saw Price officially launch the Australasian Recycling Label as an important tool for achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets. Developed by Planet Ark, PREP Design and APCO, the new label is designed to combat confusion about recycling and reduce the levels of contamination in the waste stream — serving a simpler alternative to the more than 200 recycling labels currently being used in Australian packaging.
“The Australasian Recycling Label provides people with easy-to-understand recycling information when they need it most, in those few seconds when they are deciding what bin the package goes in,” said Price. “The label removes confusion and reduces waste.”
The label is already being used by more than 50 Australian businesses, including Woolworths, Officeworks, Nestlé, Blackmores, Australia Post, Unilever and Plantic. These APCO members have committed to the design, manufacture and use of packaging that will ensure recyclable packaging, and the Australasian Recycling Label will help people correctly dispose of that packaging.
APCO will lead the collaborative effort to deliver on the 2025 commitment and, along with Planet Ark and PREP Design, will also play an important role in the delivery of the Australasian Recycling Label. The Australian Government meanwhile supports the National Packaging Targets and looks forward to working with APCO, businesses and the waste management industry in taking action on waste towards 2025.
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