Page 22 - Packaging News Magazine Nov-Dec 2021
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CIRCULAR ECONOMY | | November-December 2021
 Design for the times
 As the packaging industry works towards aligning to the circular economy, PKN takes a closer look at how Planet Ark is helping.
waste and pollution. The remaining two principles are keeping materials and products in use for longer and at their highest value, and to regenerate natural systems,” she says. “I would argue, the most commonly referred to principle in packaging discussions is the second one, the one that refers to recovery and recycling. The focus on this principle is to be applauded, however, it is the conversation back up at the principle one where a much greater attention needs to be placed.”
Planet Ark has been working with Australians to encourage positive environmental actions since 1992. Encouraging those actions has required a strong focus on behaviour change. One of the actions to support change that straddles the packaging indus- try and the consuming public is the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program. Planet Ark has partnered with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) to deliver the ARL program.
Planet Ark’s ARL campaign manager, Alejandra Laclette says, “The ARL program delivers an on-pack label- ling scheme helping designers to design packaging that enables clear recycling choices for consumers post- consumption.” Laclette also highlights there are benefits for consumers in both Australia and New Zealand who have less confusion on what they can do with their packaging, saving time, and reducing waste going to landfill.
Garofano also highlights the local- ised nature of the ARL. “The beauty of the ARL is the ability to design for Australian and New Zealand condi- tions,” Garofano says. “The ARL is only available to APCO members who have
THE first principle of a circular economy – design out waste and pollution – has direct relevance to the packaging industry. Packaging design, however, has much at stake. Packaging designers are making important decisions – decisions
that deliver packaging to not only con- tain, protect, preserve the product, the design also needs to inform the user. The packaging also needs to ensure the product is delivered in sound condition, at the optimum cost, using a coordi- nated system of preparation, transport, distribution, storage, retailing, and con- sider the end use of the product. In a circular economy, designing out waste and pollution, both during production and at end of life, are also added to this extensive list of considerations.
With so much at stake, how can designers deliver packaging that aligns with the principles of a circu- lar economy?
As reported in PKN Packaging News in the July/August 2021 edition, sus- tainable packaging, particularly for flexible packaging, is on the rise. This
is not new news for the Australian and New Zealand Packaging Innovation Design Award (PIDA) winners rec- ognised by the Australian Institute of Packaging over the last five years, many of whom have gone on to win World Packaging Organisation awards. The question to ask, however, is sus- tainable packaging helping to address the principles of a circular economy?
Head of Circular Economy Development for Planet Ark, Dr Nicole Garofano, says yes, sustainable pack- aging design does help. Garofano explains there are three principles of the circular economy (CE): “The first, as mentioned earlier, is to design out
ABOVE: Planet Ark’s Coffee Capsule Product Stewardship Scheme is being developed in partnership with Nespresso and Woolworths Group and will address the capsules available on the domestic market in Australia.
   Many designers are already making the transition to a circular economy. But there is much more to do...” — Dr Nicole Garofano

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