Page 14 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
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SUSTAINABILITY | | March-April 2021
  2025 TARGETS
In Australia, the 2025 National Packaging Targets under the steward- ship of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) are front and centre of any discussion on packaging sustainability, and a raft of pledges and promises have been issued by brand owners and packaging com- panies alike. Pact Group is among them.
Under the pledge to phase out prob- lematic plastic, Dayal says that over the past two years, Pact has decreased its consumption of expanded polysty- rene (EPS) by 35 per cent (approxi- mately 900 tonnes) by transitioning its meat tray customers to recycled PET.
“We continue to work with our cus- tomers to transition them to alterna- tive substrates which are more recy- clable or made from recycled content,” he says.
Another cornerstone of the 2025 targets is reducing single-use packag- ing. Pact Reuse continues to grow the use of returnable produce crates (RPCs) in Australia’s supermarket supply chain to reduce the use of sin- gle-use corrugated secondary
packaging, equating to more than 2100 tonnes since FY19.
When it comes to the target of increasing recycled content in locally manufactured packaging, Pact has made significant investment in its ANZ recycling capability. Dayal says, “We are on track to have the capacity to recycle 60,000 tonnes per annum by 2025 to meet our target to use 30 per cent recycled content across our portfolio.
There’s no doubt that in its pursuit of a local circular economy model the Australian packaging industry faces significant challenges. The key word here is local, Dayal says.
“The use of imported recycled con- tent does not solve our domestic waste to landfill problems,” he stresses. “Pact has made, and contin- ues to make, significant investment in locally sourced food-grade recy- cled content for our customers.”
Crucial to the success of establish- ing a circular economy is government support, he argues.
ABOVE: Pact Packaging manufactures rigid plastics for a wide-ranging customer base.
“There is a role for the government policy framework to play to create demand for recycled content through incentivising the early adopters of the APCO 2025 targets,” Dayal says, not- ing that currently there is no compul- sion for any company to disclose how much recycled content they are using.
“If reporting were to be mandated, we’d know the size of the challenge, and there would also be peer pres- sure for brands to use more recycled content.
“The Government Procurement Process also has a role to play to ensure maximum recycled content is specified for local council projects (such as wheelie bins) and larger infrastructure projects such as noise walls on freeways,” he adds.
Pact may have positioned itself as the leader of the circular economy, but it is a formidable endeavour and one that it can’t do without support – from government and industry alike.
“The new Circular Plastics Australia PET site in Albury is a per- fect example of this – Cleanaway pro- vides the waste management knowl- edge, Pact provides the recycling and packaging expertise, and Asahi is the offtake partner. And the NSW gov- ernment has provided assistance of almost $5 million as part of its Waste Less, Recycled More initiative.”
Dayal believes that working collab- oratively with like-minded partners across the whole value chain is the only way to build scaled solutions and achieve a true circular economy. And his message to the industry is that time is running out.
“Take up this challenge now, and as momentum gathers, everyone will ben- efit,” he says. “External surveys Pact has commissioned show that consum- ers are ready, they’re calling for the change. Eighty per cent say they would buy brands in recycled packaging and be happy to pay a premium to do so. Brands must step up. Industry must step up. Government must step up.”
It is Dayal’s firm belief that by building a local circular economy, the Australian packaging industry will be strong and profitable. As head of a company that is walking the talk, he makes a compelling argument for industry to follow the lead. ■
   Take up this challenge now, and as momentum gathers, everyone will benefit... Brands must step up. Industry must step up. Government must step up.”

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