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The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has partnered with the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC), which will support NZ businesses to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).

The ARL is an on-pack labelling scheme that helps consumers to recycle correctly, and supports brand owners to design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life. 

The programme was developed by APCO in partnership with Planet Ark and Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) Design. 

“We are excited to be working with the FGC to increase uptake of the ARL in NZ, and support brand owners to adopt it so they can provide their customers with critical information that will increase recycling rates and resource recovery,” said Brooke Donnelly, outgoing-CEO of APCO. 

“The ARL has just reached a new milestone of 250,000 SKUs on-pack in Australia and 80,000 SKUs in NZ. Partnerships like this are critical for supporting brands to design for the local recycling capability, and to ensure credibility in consumer information.” 

FGC and APCO will co-design a roadmap to raise awareness of the ARL in NZ for the benefit of consumers, brand owners, packaging suppliers, recyclers and the environment.

The roadmap aims to:

  • Increase the number of food and grocery companies using the ARL on consumer packaging;
  • Ensure the ARL is fit for purpose by using software managed by PREP Design that is reflective of the market; and
  • Support alignment by all value chain players.

“Sixty-nine per cent of New Zealanders say they check the label on packaging before recycling, so the instructions need to be clear, and most importantly, reflect the collection and recycling system here in NZ,” said Katherine Rich, chief executive, FGC. 

“More than 95 per cent of scannable barcodes on packaging are common across both NZ and Australia, so our members need one labelling system.

“We are excited to continue this work by championing the adoption of the ARL, not just by the food and grocery sector, but for all packaging.” 

In 2021, FGC began supporting the adoption of the ARL in NZ after a Ministry for the Environment Report recognised the ARL as the best recycling approach, based on its evidence-based system that ensures packaging with the ARL label can be successfully recovered. 

The ARL was also recognised by the UN Environment Programme and Consumers International as one of the leading labelling systems globally for its clarity, accessibility and reliability.

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