The new strategic framework outlines how the Australian packaging industry will deliver the ambitious 2025 National Packaging Targets. The report has significant implications for local councils recyclers of consumer packaging.
‘Our Packaging Future’ was launched by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environment Management, The Hon Trevor Evans MP on April 1. It was unveiled during an industry webinar, featuring discussion from Minister Evans, environmental consultant Dr. Helen Lewis and APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly.
Significantly, of the 5.5 million tonnes of packaging products that go to market each year, 88% is currently recyclable, yet just 49% is recovered for use in future applications. The remainder ends up as landfill or litter on land and in our oceans.
‘Our Packaging Future’ merges data and insights from more than 200 contributors, to identify the current critical challenges contributing to the current gap in packaging recycling. It then maps the strategies required to move away from our current take, make and waste approach to managing packaging.
Justin Frank, Chief Customer Officer for SUEZ Australia & New Zealand commented on the report:
“SUEZ welcomes the release of the Our Packaging Future report. By mapping the challenges faced by all impacted waste streams, the collective impact framework focuses industry and government on the strategies that will drive the critical growth and sustainable end markets that are necessary to drive the system forward and achieve the waste reduction and recycling outcomes the Australian public expects.”
Key recommendations and approaches addressed in the plan include:
- A change to the 2025 National Packaging Target for recycled content levels in packaging. The Target for the average recycled content in all packaging will increase from 30% to 50%.
- The launch of a National Consumer Education Campaign for sustainable packaging in 2020
- APCO to convene a CDS National Working Group as a collaborative forum aiming to facilitate consistency and alignment of future closed-loop schemes
- APCO to explore and facilitate waste collection partnerships in regional and remote areas including potential collaboration with other product stewardship schemes where kerbside collection is not feasible
- Voluntary code of practice for shopping bags with key stakeholders
- New reuse models for both consumer and B2B packaging
- For compostable packaging, develop a national strategy with industry and government partners.
- Explore extending the Australasian Recycling Label to include B2B packaging and recycled content.
- Develop a traceability and verification program for recycled content in packaging and products