Arnott’s has committed to transition its soft plastic packaging used on all biscuit packaging from multi to mono-material, so it is fully recyclable, by the end of 2023.

The move is well ahead of the 2025 National Packaging Targets set by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and its best practice guidelines for soft plastic packaging.

The shift will remove non-recyclable materials from the packaging for Arnott’s entire ANZ biscuit range, resulting in full recyclability of that packaging through the Australian REDcycle and NZ Soft Plastics Recycling schemes.

Consumers will start to notice the change with the roll out of thinner, fully recyclable packaging, across the Farmbake range, a popular product for NZ consumers also available at Australian independent grocery stores.

The company says the change to the Farmbake packaging will generate a plastic reduction of nine tonnes each year (the equivalent of six medium sized cars) while retaining the shelf life and freshness that consumers have come to expect. 

Arnott’s will transition the remainder of its soft plastic packaging to fully recyclable material in the next 18 months, as trials are completed. This change will ensure all Arnott’s packaging is fully recyclable, the company says. 

“Arnott’s was working hard to achieve 100 per cent recyclable packaging comprised of mono-material structures and more simplified packaging formats,” said Alberto Peixeiro, Arnott’s group director of packaging development.

“When we started our sustainability journey last year, we decided to set ourselves the ambitious goal of completely eliminating multi-material structures from our packaging, a goal that has us well placed to exceed the timeframes set out by APCO, as part of the 2025 National Packaging Targets. 

“Beyond this significant change, we are continuing to look for opportunities to reduce the amount of packaging that we use and increase the recyclability of our packaging materials, so that we can work toward the ultimate goal of a circular economy for packaging.” 

Brooke Donnelly, APCO’s CEO, says its good to see APCO members developing innovative solutions to improve the sustainability of their packaging. 

“This significant commitment will drive real sustainability outcomes and is exactly the type of action we need as Australia works towards achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets,” she said. 

“The Arnott’s Group’s tenacity and initiative is a superb example to all businesses in Australia, and an important step towards the development of a true circular economy for sustainable packaging in Australia.”

Simon Lowden, Arnott’s group chief transformation officer, said the announcement is just one of the ways that the business was applying pressure to meet and surpass the sustainability objectives that we set ourselves in 2021.

“Whether it’s greater supply chain transparency, investigating alternative energy solutions, greater nutritional offerings or packaging format changes – across the board we are seeing improvements in our sustainability efforts, but more importantly, we’re holding ourselves to account for the commitments that we have made,” Lowden said.

Arnott’s remains committed to adopting the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on all its products by 2023. The label is currently used on 72 per cent of Arnott’s products. 

The ARL is designed to help educate consumers about how to recycle their soft plastics through designated soft plastic recycling and collection points. 

Arnott’s is currently at 75 per cent recyclability (units) across its packaging portfolio, with an intention to get to 100 per cent by 2023, ahead of the original 2025 target.

Arnott’s improved its sustainability performance score as part of the APCO Performance Summary from 71-81 per cent, and from ‘Leading’ to ‘Beyond Best Practice’. 

The score charts an organisation’s overall performance in packaging areas like Governance and Strategy, Design and Procurement, Recycled Content, Recoverability, On-site Waste, and Problematic Materials.

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