Australia progressing towards 2025 National Packaging Targets
Australia progressing towards 2025 National Packaging TargetsIn 2018, Australia announced four new National Packaging Targets to be reached by 2025:
by Rachel Langhill at 19:58 in Environmental, Packaging
- 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging;
- 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted;
- 50% average recycled content in packaging; and
- Phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has been tasked with making sure targets are reached, and much progress has been made in recent months. Most notably, 'Our Packaging Future' was launched on 1st April 2020 by APCO and Australia's Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environment Management, The Hon Trevor Evans MP.
According to a news release, this new strategic framework outlines how APCO and federal, state and local governments plan to reach the National Packaging Targets over the next five years. Some recommendations of the framework include:
Increase the target for average recycled content in packaging (goal #3) from 30% to 50%. Data shows that the current average recycled content across all packaging is 35%, meaning the original 30% target has already been reached. On 31st March 2020, APCO also released recycled content targets for each material type. For example, APCO aims to raise the current recycled content rate for plastics from 2% to 20%, and goes even further by setting individual targets for PET, HDPE, PP and flexible plastics.
Launch a National Consumer Educational Campaign for sustainable packaging. According to the strategic framework, the Campaign will be implemented in partnership with APCO Members, Planet Ark and other key stakeholders from 2020 to 2024 to ensure recycling and consumption messaging on packaging, bins and promotional materials is consistent.
Incorporate new reuse models for consumer and B2B packaging. Research is being conducted in 2020 to ensure that impacts of reuse models will be more environmentally beneficial than single-use packaging. Collaborative projects to implement reuse models are scheduled to take place from 2021 to 2025.
Develop a national strategy for compostable packaging. On 6th May 2020, APCO, the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) and Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) published guidelines to help industry professionals incorporate certified compostable plastic into packaging and products appropriately. The report suggests that compostable plastic packaging is best used in applications where food waste would become an issue – specifically, food caddy liners, produce stickers and closed-loop food service systems used for festivals, food courts, cafes, etc.
Explore extending use of the Australaisian Recycling Label (ARL). Not only would the ARL be used as part of the National Consumer Educational Campaign, but APCO envisions that soon the label will also be used on B2B packaging and show recycled content.
Lorax EPI will continue to monitor progress towards goals. To learn more about APCO, Australia's National Packaging Targets or other global environmental packaging commitments, please contact us today.