This month the Australian Federal government launched its very first National plastic packaging plan, setting out a brand-new standard for how Australia will deal with the plastic waste challenge.
The Plan supplies an amazing brand-new method to keep plastic in the economy for as long as possible and out of a landfill and the environment.
The Strategy likewise brought to the fore several crucial sustainability deadlines that Australian companies require to be mindful of and satisfy by making practical changes in their operations.
This short article takes a deep dive into two of these important areas– the uptake of the Australasian Recycling Label and the phase-out of bothersome and unneeded single-use plastic product packaging– and outlines what services need to be aware of and how they can begin today.
The Australasian Recycling Label– what is it, why organizations require to start using it, and by when?
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program is an on-pack labeling scheme that is helping customers to recycle properly and supporting brand name owners to develop product packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life. The Program was developed by APCO in partnership with Planet Ark and PREPARATION Style and is endorsed by all Australian federal governments to help make recycling much easier.
Considering that introducing in 2018, more than 500 organizations have already signed up with the program, including much of Australia’s best-known brands and merchants. Currently, 10s of thousands of iconic household items include the ARL and are assisting Australians to recycle properly.
The Australian Federal government has actually committed to deal with businesses to use the ARL on at least 80%of grocery store items by December 2023. The labeling program will also be presented for business-to-business packaging, and the government has dedicated to supporting ARL uptake by small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
APCO has various resources, tools, and publications created to assist organizations in getting started on their ARL journey. Before You Chuck It resource toolkits, designed to help services interact with their customers, they are using the ARL Program and helping them to recycle correctly.
Single-use, unnecessary and troublesome plastic packaging– what is it, and why do we require to phase it out?
In 2019, around 50,700 tonnes of single-use, unneeded and bothersome plastic product packaging were produced, making up 5%of the total 1 million tonnes of plastic product packaging placed on the Australian market.
While plastic product packaging has many benefits for society, single-use and troublesome plastic product packaging represents an obvious and extremely damaging issue, with various environmental and economic impacts.
Australia requires to shift our method to packaging far from single-use, disposable plastic product packaging to more long-lasting reusable and recyclable product packaging.
Who is accountable for phasing out single-use plastic packaging?
The phase-out of single-use plastic product packaging is an initiative led by the Australian Product Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) through the 2025 National Packaging Targets, which were agreed by the industry and federal government in2018. Additionally, some states and areas have actually passed or are establishing legislation that will prohibit many problematic and unneeded single-use plastic packaging products recognized by APCO for phase-out, consisting of expanded polystyrene food and beverage service items and fragmentable plastics.
What needs to be phased out?
Since the 2025 National Product packaging Targets were agreed in 2018, APCO has actually worked with the entire plastic supply chain to produce an agreed list of materials for phase-out and concurred timelines to meet that phase-out. These items that companies and government are working to phase out consist of:
Light-weight plastic shopping bagsFragmentable plasticsExpanded polystyrene (EPS) product packaging for food and beverage service and retail fresh fruit and vegetable EPS loose fill product packaging Moulded EPS product packaging for white/brown items and electronic rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging rigid polystyrene (PS) packagingOpaque polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle rigid plastic packaging with carbon black.
How can businesses begin?
There are lots of Australian businesses that are making these modifications in their product packaging currently. In 2019, Woolworths and Coles phased out single-use plastic bags while Officeworks is a real leader in the space, having successfully phased out all polystyrene packaging from its house brand furnishings and shredders and now assisting the wider supply chain to follow suit.
APCO likewise has a range of tools, programs, and resources to assist services make these modifications in their business, covering concerns like which alternative products organizations ought to utilize and how services can deal with their domestic and worldwide supply chains. In December 2020, APCO published ‘Techniques for Problematic and Unnecessary Single-Use Plastic Packaging,’ a practical resource to help Australia’s packaging supply chain stage out this product packaging through innovative, sustainable services.
More on the 2025 National Product Packaging Targets, APCO Subscription, the ARL Program, or the phase-out of single-use plastic product packaging can be discovered at ACPO.