Author: Alejandra Laclette
At Planet Ark we pride ourselves on being highly knowledgeable when it comes to recycling. But sometimes, even we have to stop and take a few minutes to figure out recycling gripes like ‘lid on or lid off’? This is where the Australasian Recycling Label comes into play. So who is guiding its development and community education?
The ARL is an evidence-based standardised system that provides consumers with easy to understand recycling information for packaging. It shows what needs to be done with each piece of a package to dispose of it in the best way and avoid recycling bin contamination.
Thanks to a partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) and Planet Ark, the ARL has just entered an exciting new phase. This development will allow more companies to adopt the ARL, more products with the label to hit the shelves and, most importantly, more resources being recovered. Leading organisations including Australia Post, Blackmores, Coles, Nestlé, Officeworks, Unilever and Woolworths have already pledged their commitment to using the label.
PREP takes into account how widespread the collection services are for the item, as well as how the item will behave at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and subsequently at processing facilities such as paper mills and aluminium smelters. After the recyclability of a piece of packaging is assessed by PREP, a packaging designer will know which message should be provided to the consumer by the ARL.
APCO has set up a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed of experts in recycling and packaging to ensure recyclability determinations made by PREP are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Planet Ark is responsible for administering a Marketing Advisory Committee (MAC) to address public consumer education. The MAC is comprised of experts in brand development, behavioural change, waste management and consumer education.
TAC members represent various industries across Australia and New Zealand including APCO, PREP, Campbell Arnott’s, Plantic, Coles, Nestlé, Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), Adaptation Environmental Support, Green Industries SA, WasteMINZ, Visy Plastics and Victorian Waste Management Association.
Likewise, MAC members represent APCO, Planet Ark, Nestlé, Unilever, Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, Countdown, NSW EPA, Sustainability Victoria, Green Industries SA, Auckland Council, WA Local Government Association (WALGA), Brisbane City Council and the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR).
The launch of the consumer education campaign will be taking place in October 2018.
Find out more about the Australasian Recycling Label.
After looking after the sustainability educational program at her corporate job in Mexico, Alejandra decided to move to Sydney and undertake a Master in Sustainable Development, while working as a Sustainability Consultant for a compostable packaging company. She's now Planet Ark's Recycling Label Program Manager.