The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has launched the Recycled Materials Pledge, a new initiative designed to drive greater uptake of recycled materials in packaging.

The new initiative will challenge major brands to publicly commit the volumes of specific materials they will transition from virgin materials to recycled materials by 2025.

Increasing the use of recycled content is a core element of the 2025 National Packaging Targets and a critical factor in the establishment of a true circular economy for sustainable packaging in Australia. 

The development of the Pledge will help signal the level of demand for recycled packaging materials in the Australian marketplace, and consequently help drive increased investment in the necessary reprocessing capabilities. 

“The Pledge will give fresh impetus to the uptake of recycled content. Being able to demonstrate firm commitments from businesses will showcase the significant demand that exists in the market for recycled materials – and give broader industry the motivation to step up to meet this demand,” APCO CEO, Brooke Donnelly said. 

“An item of packaging is only truly recycled when it is used again, so the importance of this initiative   cannot be overstated. Significantly reducing our reliance on virgin materials will decrease the pressure we put on the planet’s finite resources and ensure that valuable materials are not simply lost to landfill.”

Modelled on similar programs in Europe, the Pledge will allow APCO members to make detailed commitments to the recycled material market and pledge their dedication to achieving specific 2025 National Packaging recycled material targets.

“For some businesses, the Pledge is the initial step in their sustainability journey while, for others, it will reinforce current commitments to circularity. Regardless, the Pledge will help businesses to play their role in the development of a circular economy and work together to move Australia towards a more sustainable future for packaging,” Donnelly continued.