APCO launches recycled packaging pledge

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has launched an initiative to drive a greater uptake of recycled content in packaging.

The Recycled Materials Pledge challenges major brands across all industries, including HVAC&R, to publicly commit the volumes of specific materials they will transition from virgin materials to recycled materials by 2025. It will play a critical role in the 2025 National Packaging Targets – explained in an AIRAH Streamline webinar earlier this year – which aims to establish a circular economy for sustainable packaging.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly believes the Pledge will give fresh impetus to the uptake of recycled content.

“Being able to demonstrate firm commitments from businesses will showcase the significant demand that exists in the market for recycled materials – and give broader industry the motivation to step up to meet this demand,” she says.

The Pledge is modelled on similar programs in Europe. It will allow APCO members to make detailed commitments to the recycled material market and achieving specific 2025 National Packaging recycled material targets.

Once approved, the pledges will be shared publicly to provide clarity over market demand. APCO aims to act as a bridge between companies and government to help facilitate the necessary reprocessing and manufacturing opportunities.

Australia has already made significant progress towards meeting the 2025 targets. The most recent figures show a current average of 39 per cent recycled content is included in packaging, against the target of 50 per cent.

Donnelly says an item of packaging is only truly recycled when it is used again.

“Significantly reducing our reliance on virgin materials will decrease the pressure we put on the planet’s finite resources and ensure that valuable materials are not simply lost to landfill,” she says.

“The Pledge will help businesses to play their role in the development of a circular economy and work together to move Australia towards a more sustainable future for packaging.”

For more information on the Recycled Materials Pledge, click here.

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