Clearer On-Pack Labelling to Transform Recycling

A new partnership between the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) will advance the uptake of the Australasian Recycling Label, increasing the recycling of packaging in New Zealand.

The ARL is an on-pack labelling scheme that helps consumers to recycle correctly and supports brand owners to design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life. 

Earlier this year, the New Zealand Ministry of Environment (MOE) announced a plan ‘Transforming Recycling’, a document comprising three initiatives: A container return scheme designed to incentivise consumers to return beverage containers to be recycled/reused for a refundable deposit; improvement of kerbside recycling, standardising collection and processes for all local councils; and a mandate for businesses to separate food waste from other waste. 

MOE data estimates the country generates over 17 million tonnes of waste annually, with almost 13 million tonnes of that going to landfill. 

The partnership between FGC and APCO will support New Zealand brand owners in adopting the ARL, designing for the local recycling capability and ensuring credibility in consumer information that will increase recycling rates and resource recovery. 

“69 percent of New Zealanders say they check the label on packaging before recycling, so the instructions need to be clear and most importantly reflect the collection and recycling system here in New Zealand,” said FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.

FGC and APCO will co-design a roadmap to raise awareness of the ARL after the MOE recognised it as the best recycling labelling approach, based on its evidence-based system that ensures packaging with the ARL label can be successfully recovered.