APCO unveils roadmap to a circular economy for plastics

The Australia Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), under the Australia New Zealand Pacific Island Plastics Pact (ANZPAC), has published the ANZPAC Roadmap to 2025.

APCO is the agency charged by government to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. To achieve this goal, APCO is working closely with government and industry to deliver a range of sustainable design, recycling, waste to landfill reduction and circular economy projects.

The ANZPAC Roadmap outlines the approach required by key players across the entire plastics value chain to achieve the ANZPAC Regional Plastic Targets by 2025 and, more broadly, to develop a circular economy for plastics.

It is the culmination of extensive discussions between more than 100 organisations, both large and small, coming together across Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands over the past year to outline the necessary outcomes and activities required to achieve the ANZPAC Targets.

It provides a pathway to substantially change our relationship with plastic packaging by recognising the unique position of the organisations involved and identifying the common barriers to achieving a circular economy in the region, including access to data, geographical challenges, market size, technology, and cultural challenges.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, APCO (ANZPAC lead organisation) said the incredible collaboration across countries highlights the critical importance of coming together as a region to learn from each other, align and accelerate the work to overhaul our relationship with plastic packaging and develop long-term sustainable solutions.

“If our work is to be successful, it’s vital that businesses across the packaging value chain throughout Oceania familiarise themselves with the actions outlined in this Roadmap and incorporate these into their business planning.”

The Roadmap identifies organisations from across the supply chain with leading, supporting or consulting roles for each of the core activities aligned to each of the Targets.

The four ANZPAC Regional Plastics Targets are:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and alternative (reuse) delivery models.
  • 100 per cent of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
  • Increase plastic packaging collected and effectively recycled by 25 per cent for each geography within the ANZPAC region.
  • Average of 25 per cent recycled content in plastic packaging across the region.

Margaret Stuart, Oceania Director Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé said a united front is necessary to achieve plastic reduction targets.

“We’re working hard to reduce our use of virgin plastics and make our packaging recyclable or reusable, but we know we need to do more, and we know we can’t do it alone. The ANZPAC Roadmap gives us a framework within which we can collaborate in the region to ensure that packaging can be collected and recovered for a better future.”

Richard Kirkman, CEO, Veolia Australia and New Zealand, said the circular economy demands that we pivot the entire supply chain.

“Manufacturers need to make products that can be easily recycled, and that use recycled raw materials, local authorities need to implement better and more consistent collection systems, recycling businesses like ourselves need to build greater capacity for reprocessing, and consumers should vote with their purchase power and then put the right thing in the right bin.

“Now is the time to execute the ANZPAC Plastic Pact Roadmap so that we can meet the targets we’ve set. The changes we make will work, but only if we work together, and all play our part.”

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