Page 16 - Packaging News Magazine Nov-Dec 2021
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SUSTAINABILITY | | November-December 2021
 APCO develops Recycled Content Label program
 The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has developed the new Recycled Content Label Program, which is designed to support the increased use of recycled content in packaging. Wayne Robinson reports.
APCO says the new Recycled Content Label (RCL) Program will support members, and the wider industry, to accelerate the push towards achieving the National Packaging Target of 50 per cent of average recycled content included in pack-
aging by the year 2025.
It says as Australia continues to work towards the transition to a circular economy for packaging, industry is making strong progress towards 50 per cent, with 2018/19 data showing a 38 per cent average of recycled con- tent in packaging.
The RCL Program is currently in the final development phase, with APCO working with industry to ensure it is accessible, robust and supportive. APCO is calling on all members and
key stakeholders in the packaging value chain to become involved in the important development phase.
Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO, said: “For recycling to be truly complete, the materials we recover must be used again as recycled content at its highest potential value, for as long as possible. The development and pro- vision of successful end markets for recycled content is therefore critical to the achievement of both the 2025 National Packaging Targets, and the development of a true circular econ- omy for packaging.”
APCO says to date Australian indus- try has made a commendable effort to use recycled content in packaging over a number of years, but its increased use has been stymied by the lack of veri- fication of the origin and composition of recycled materials and inconsis- tent on-pack labelling. It says this new programme will provide both indus- try and consumers with confidence in recycled content, empowering
businesses to increase their use of recycled content, and consum- ers to choose this packaging
APCO member Unilever, owner of the Omo and TRESemmé brands pictured, is already incorporating recycled content into packaging for these brands and others.
– driving demand for recycled content and, in turn, sustained recycling.
Current activity is focused on devel- oping the RCL Program with industry to ensure it is user friendly, accessi- ble, and supports the increased use of recycled content in packaging.
Pilots of the traceability standard will take place as well as webinars and workshops to allow APCO mem- bers to contribute feedback and begin planning for the implementation of the RCL Program. APCO will also establish a reference group later this year to seek further feedback and industry expertise through this critical development stage.
As a starting point, industry can learn more about recycled content from APCO’s guiding resources on the topic, including the Recycled Content Guide, Recycled Content Targets and the Supporting Government Procurement of Recycled Materials. ■
 APCO’S RCL Program aims to deliver a traceability standard and verification scheme that:
• provides confidence for brand
owners’ recycled materials claims
through on-pack labelling;
• enables the tracking of progress
towards the 2025 Targets and
APCO Member reporting; and
• engages the supply chain to understand current recycled
content use and opportunities to increase this.
It also aims to deliver a Recycled Content Label that:
• enables a consistent and clear
on-pack label, growing consumer
engagement and understanding
of recycled materials;
• separates often confused messaging of ‘recyclable’
materials and ‘recycled’ materials; • increases awareness of the
importance of recycled materials and builds renewed confidence in recycling;
• empowers consumers to choose packaging with recycled materials – driving demand for recycled content and in turn sustained recycling;
• meets ISO 14021 and ACCC Green Marketing Guidelines requirements; and
• recognises and rewards organisations using recycled content.

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