Author: Alejandra Laclette
A big tick of approval for the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), which has been positively evaluated in a global assessment of recycling and sustainability labelling on plastic packaging.
The recent report by the UN Environment Programme and Consumers International delivered a global assessment of current standards, labels and claims on plastic packaging (specifically FMCG and Food and Beverage products). The report assessed various labels on how they communicate the materials used in a piece of packaging, as well as its recyclability and disposal information.
Thirty labels used globally were assessed against the fundamental principles of UNEP’s Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information, which are reliability, relevance, transparency and accessibility. Ten of those labels (in addition to the universal recycling symbol) were identified as labels providing recycling guidance, including the ARL.
Only four of the labels in this category were assessed positively, with the ARL, the only relevant recycling label for Australia and New Zealand, being one of them. The ARL was singled out as one of the few programs worldwide delivering informative and useful information that could effectively increase responsible consumer behaviour.
The program was also noted as having the potential to promote innovation in packaging design, pushing manufacturers to be more recycling friendly as well as reduce contamination in our streams by clearly labelling a product as not recyclable when that’s the case.
For all these reasons, the report authors made a point of highlighting the label as an example of best practice. This is a great milestone for the ARL and it proves how robust the program is.
The Australasian Recycling Label is delivered in a partnership between the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, Planet Ark and PREP Design. Working collaboratively with the packaging and waste industry and all levels of government has been a key to the success of the program. Together, we hope to see more and more products with the ARL hit the shelves soon.
To read the full report visit: https://consumersinternational.org/media/352255/canirecyclethis-finalreport.pdf
After managing 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.
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