Planet Ark has been conducting free school sessions on sustainability and the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), as part of what it says is its commitment to helping younger Australians “discover how to recycle right”.
Planet Ark describes it as the only evidence-based recycling label in Australia, and says the ARL helps remove the confusion from recycling and reduce waste going to landfill, saying it is about understanding how to recycle and why it is important for the environment.
Based on the organisation’s research from 2022, Planet Ark says awareness of the ARL has dramatically increased by 60 per cent over the past four years, and says three out of four Australians now recognise it.
Of the surveyed population, youth audiences, aged 16-24, demonstrated the strongest awareness and recognition of the ARL among all age groups. Planet Ark says the figures represent a common trend regarding the interest and growing knowledge in sustainability practices in our younger generations.
Planet Ark says that the purpose of the sessions is based on the understanding that primary school is an important period for cementing life-long behaviour models, and making sure to cut through the misinformation with accurate advice is an important objective.
Planet Ark’s work with the ARL is part of its partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), and so far, the organisation has conducted 50 in-person sessions across NSW and Queensland, educating 3500 students from early learning to Year 10.
In the school sessions, Planet Ark says it was able to help students improve their recycling behaviours, tackle some recycling misconceptions, and have fun.
The organisers said they were impressed with how engaged many students already are with sustainability and recycling concepts, and added that the important next step is ensuring this awareness is converted into practice proactively and effectively.
For those schools who were unable to take part, Planet Ark is also offering learning resources through curriculum-aligned lesson plans.