Australasian Recycling Label

Australasian Recycling Label

Clear and concise recycling labels for packaging


What is the ARL?

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is an evidence-based system for Australia and New Zealand that provides you with easy to understand recycling information when you need it most – at the bin. It removes confusion, saves you time and reduces waste going to landfill.

The ARL is an element of APCO’s Packaging Recycling Label Program. APCO, Planet Ark and PREP Design are working in partnership to deliver the program. This will help everyone better understand how to dispose of packaging effectively and assist brands in designing packaging that is recyclable. This scheme aims to increase recycling and recovery rates and contribute to cleaner recycling streams.

Why do we need the ARL?

Australians and New Zealanders care about the environment and want to do the right thing. But with hundreds of recycling labels out there, getting recycling right can be confusing and even recycling gurus get it wrong.

The ARL removes recycling confusion. Why is this so important? Because when we dispose of our waste correctly, we:

  • divert waste from landfill

  • increase the amount of recyclable materials being repurposed into new products

  • reduce contamination in the recycling bin, resulting in cleaner recycling streams

How does the ARL work?

Unlike other labels, the ARL is an evidence-based system underpinned by the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP). It is not possible for a piece of packaging to have the Australasian Recycling Label without a PREP assessment that backs up disposal claims.

PREP assesses not only the materials used to manufacture a piece of packaging, but also its shape, weight, size, inks, adhesives used and many other variables. PREP simulates the behaviour of packaging in the recycling ecosystem, from the moment it is collected at kerbside to when it is sorted at a Materials Recovery Facility and in a subsequent processing facility.

The availability of collection services is also accounted for in this process. PREP assesses the piece of packaging against the number of people who can recycle it via their council kerbside collection service. Kerbside access levels are determined using the data from Planet Ark’s website RecyclingNearYou, which is updated annually.

If more than 80% of the population with kerbside recycling can recycle an item, it is considered ‘Widely Accepted’. Where 60-80% of the population have access, it is considered less widely accepted and consumers may be prompted to ‘Check Locally’ with their council. If less than 60% of the population with kerbside recycling can recycle an item, it is considered below the threshold for recyclability and classified as not-recyclable.

The technical recyclability and council collection status combine to inform whether a packaging item is recyclable, not recyclable or if consumers have to take an extra step to recycle an item.

How you can get involved


Stay up to date

Whether you're looking for positive inspiration at home, at work or in the community you’ll find something in our suite of e-newsletters.