The latest data on uptake of the Australasian Recycling label are now available. Over 255,000 products now carry the ARL in Australia and New Zealand, representing growth of over 280% since last year!
The National Plastics Plan has targeted 80% of supermarket products on shelves to display the ARL by the end of 2023, so these results are fantastic news. Furthermore, research from the ARL Consumer Insights Survey indicates three in four Australians now recognise the ARL on their packaging, and most of them claim they have seen on-pack.
This finding is supported by Planet Ark research indicating the most common and most sought after place where people look for packaging recyclability information is the package itself.
But a labelling program is not as effective without a strong governance structure, accessibility of the label by industry and consumer education to ensure people know what to do about it.
While it is possible for one entity to implement a sustainability project, in this case a labelling program, it is much faster and highly more efficient when key collaborative partnerships are made. The ARL is a great example of such collaboration in action.
The ARL was launched by Planet Ark back in 2015 as the Australian Recycling Label, before being relaunched as the Australasian Recycling Label with supporting recycling data for Australia and New Zealand in 2018 in partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).
This partnership was key to encouraging brands to join the program as all APCO members have free access to the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) and the ARL.
In Australia, under the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure (NEPM), packaging manufacturers or businesses who produce packaged goods with an annual turnover over $5 million are required to either be an APCO member and report on their sustainability packaging guidelines, or report to the relevant jurisdictional agency regarding detailed implementation information for the NEPM. Currently, APCO members cover about 80% of the packaging supply chain in Australia.
In New Zealand, a recent partnership was reached between the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) and APCO which will advance the uptake of the ARL.
If you are a brand owner and want to join the program, contact APCO on firstname.lastname@example.org