The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) first established the 2025 Packaging Waste Targets in 2018. These targets require the government, industries, and people to work together and systematically change how the country produces and recycles product packaging.
They have become Australia’s significant waste management objectives, set to help the country reduce and eliminate problematic materials such as product packaging and plastics.
Let’s look further into Australia’s Packaging Waste Targets 2025 to know more.
Understanding the Packaging Waste Targets 2025
Australia has started its journey towards achieving a sustainable way of using and disposing of packaging wastes. Many states and localities are developing legislation to reduce packaging waste and eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic packaging.
100% Reusable, Recyclable or Compostable Packaging
The first target on the list is ensuring that the country can reuse, recycle, or compost 100% of the products’ packaging.
There are key resources to take action on the said target, the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPG), the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) and the Quickstart Guides.
The SPG focuses on creating a sustainable design for product packaging, while the PREP evaluates the recyclability of the packaging and is available only to APCO members.
On the other hand, APCO established the quickstart guides to reinforce the product packaging design for recyclability.
Based on the latest records, 89% of the country’s packaging is now reusable, recyclable or compostable. The remaining 11% is currently under a detailed analysis by APCO to find the best redesign, reduction, or elimination opportunities.
70% of Plastic Packaging Being Recycled or Composted
Most product packaging comes in plastic. These plastics can take hundreds of years to disappear, bringing a significant danger to our environment.
Besides, plastic packaging holds some of the lowest recovery rates among other materials. Australia has set this target to make more recycled or composted plastic packaging available for future use.
Making 70% of plastic packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025 will also help the country reduce its plastic problem. The key programs and initiatives set by APCO include the ANZPAC Plastics Pact and the Australian Recycling Label.
All in all, current data shows that Australia’s plastic recycling rate has improved from 16 to 18%.
50% of Average Recycled Content Included in Packaging
Recycling involves the successful recovery of the packaging for reuse. The process is not complete without having the recycled content at its highest potential value.
APCO has made significant efforts to have 50% of average recycled content included in the packaging. Supporting the government’s procurement of recycled materials and establishing a series of resources for the usage of recycled content are some of those.
With such efforts, the country has recorded a 38% average of recycled content in product packaging in 2018 and 2019.
The Phase-out of Problematic and Unnecessary Single-use Plastic Packaging
Eliminating single-use plastic packaging and shifting into more durable and recyclable packaging are the best ways to tackle our plastic problem. It will not only help in reducing packaging consumption and waste but also enhance the country’s recycling systems.
By establishing a comprehensive action plan for packaging supply chain support and working closely with various industries, APCO aims to achieve this target by 2025.
Tracking the 2025 Targets’ Latest Progress
Australia measures its progress towards achieving the 2025 Package Waste Targets through the Monitoring Program. It provides insights and frameworks such as key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep track of the developments until 2025.
It also allows key stakeholders to know if something is off within the system, which keeps the country from achieving the desired outcomes.
On the other hand, the Australian packaging consumption and recycling data from 2018 to 2019 have shown a positive overall trend. This means that the country is thriving towards the 2025 Packaging Waste Targets each year.
Australia’s Packaging Waste Targets 2025 has set an aspiring future for the entire country to look forward to. But it requires making the best strategic efforts to achieve such desired objectives.
The actions include focusing on improving recycling and material recovery systems while eliminating certain types of product packaging. With continuous and collaborative efforts from all parties involved, Australia can get ahead of its Packaging Waste Targets 2025.