It’s National Recycling Week and the National Retail Association is encouraging all retailers to understand and learn more about sustainable packaging, recycling, the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and single-use plastic bans across the States and Territories.
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL)
We are currently working in partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) on a program to engage Small to Medium Businesses (SMEs) with the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).
The ARL is an easy-to-understand label that informs consumers on where they can place their product packaging. The label takes into consideration the weight, shape, size, colouring and contamination of packaging and instructs consumers on which bin to place it in.
The label program is administered by APCO and has been recognised by the United Nations as a world-leading customer education initiative.
For more information, please feel free to contact the ARL hotline on 1800 571 146. You can also register to stay up to date with the ARL here.
In exciting news, you can find out more about the ARL and Recycle Mate here.
Mandatory design standards for packaging in Australia and the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
Australia will implement mandatory design standards for packaging in the coming years. To avoid greenwashing and to stay up to date with best practice principles, the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines document includes advice on packaging. We highly recommend referring to this document when sourcing or preparing any new packaging formats.
The National Packaging Targets comprise of four targets, including:
- 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging. The Recycled Content Guide can be found here.
- 50% of average recycled content include in packaging. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section on APCO’s website for clarification on the average recycled content measurements.
- 70% of plastic being recycled or composted. We recommend the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) program to assess your packaging and provide advice to your customers on where to place the packaging.
- The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging. The action plan provides more information on the plastic packaging.
Multiple states and territories are implementing further single-use plastic bans in coming months. By January, heavyweight plastic shopping bags will be banned in the ACT, by March WA will ban a range of items including coffee cups and cup lids, and by September both SA and WA will implement bans on multiple items including takeaway food containers.
Need advice? The National Retail Association provides a range of support services, such as a tollfree hotline, free information sessions and thousands of store visits, for businesses needing help to understand the varying bans across different states and territories.
Businesses can join the National Retail Association’s free online information sessions held on the first Friday of every month (register here) or call our tollfree hotline 1800 844 946 for advice.
For more information on all plastic bans across Australia and New Zealand, visit the link here.