Call for more recycling info

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Two thirds of Australians want more information about how to recycle right and three quarters want the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to be on all packaging, according to new consumer insights.

The findings are published in the second edition of the ‘Australasian Recycling Label Consumer Insights Report’ by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) in partnership with Planet Ark. The research was developed to better understand attitudes and behaviours towards recycling.

Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO, says the importance of the report cannot be overstated: “Having a comprehensive understanding of consumers awareness, perceptions, trends and confusion related to recycling behaviours is integral to creating valuable change,” she said.

Key findings

The report reveals:

  • 76% of consumers see regularly recycling as the most obvious way to help the environment
  • 64% of consumers want more information about what can and can’t be recycled
  • 65% see brands and product producers as responsible for providing accurate packaging recycling information.

Rebecca Gilling, Planet Ark co-CEO, says the report highlights that consumers want to recycle right and how important it is that they have widespread access to accurate recycling information.

“Misinformation and confusion are critical factors to overcome when it comes to improving recycling behaviour,” she says. “Bad habits and beliefs take time to untangle. That is why trust, strategic education and the Australasian Recycling Label are such important elements for changing behaviour at the bin.”

Growth of the ARL Program

The ARL Program is an on-pack labelling scheme that helps consumers to recycle correctly and supports businesses to correctly design for, label and communicate about packaging recyclability.

Awareness of the ARL has dramatically increased over the past four years, with 3 out of 4 Australians now recognising the label. The largest growth in awareness of the ARL is among 16-24 year olds, increasing from 82% to 91%.

“The continued growth of the ARL Program since its launch in 2018 has been tremendous,” says Ms Donnelly. “The Program now counts hundreds of Australia’s best known businesses among its Membership and has been widely endorsed by all levels of Government, along with being recognised as a world-leading consumer education initiative in a report by the UN Environment Programme.

“We are incredibly thankful to each of the Program’s members who are helping consumers correctly recycle their household packaging and are looking forward to welcoming many more as we encourage brand owners and packaging manufacturers to register with the ARL Program.”

View the full ‘Australasian Recycling Label Consumer Insights Report’ here.


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