Melissa Price, Australia minister for the environment, joined leaders from packaging, retail, logistics, manufacturing, recycling and waste management businesses in a commitment to better manage packaging waste.
The National Packaging Targets also include the following pledges: 70% of plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025; 30% average recycled content will be included across all packaging by 2025; and problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives. The targets were announced at an event convened by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation.
Companies which have pledged their support for the targets include: Coca-Cola Amatil, Nestlé, Unilever, Simplot and Woolworths.
Alex Holt, general manager of quality and sustainability at Woolworths, highlighted the importance of the collaboration: “We’re really pleased to see such a wide range of industry players come together in support of such a worthy goal. 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.”
At the event, Melissa Price also launched the Australasian Recycling Label as a tool for achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The new labelling system has been developed to help consumers better understand how to recycle packaging.
With more than 200 recycling labels currently being used in Australian packaging, the new evidence-based system is designed to combat confusion about recycling and reduce the levels of contamination in the waste stream.
Price said: “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. The label removes confusion and reduces waste.”
Margaret Stuart, Nestlé Oceania head of corporate and external relations, said: “More and more people who buy our products want to know how to manage packing waste, so we have committed to implementing the Australasian Recycling Label across all our locally controlled products by 2020.”