Latest Sustainability News
Brand owners and their supply chain are actively working towards ambitious national packaging targets.
The NRA calls on all levels of government to support evidence-based programs which are developing world-leading change and a new circular economy for Australia.
We call on government to prevent less-informed, local legislation from contradicting or halting this positive progress.
2025 National Packaging Targets
In 2018, Australia established the ambitious 2025 National Packaging Targets.
The Targets create a new sustainable pathway for the way we manage packaging in Australia.
The four Targets are:
- 100% of packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
- 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted by 2025
- 50% of average recycled content included in packaging by 2025
- The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025.
The National Packaging Targets apply to all packaging that is made, used and sold in Australia.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is charged with delivering the industry-led targets.
Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) is a comprehensive, publicly available resource used to assist in the sustainable design and manufacture of packaging in Australia.
The purpose of the SPGs is to assist Australian organisations to integrate the following ten Sustainable Packaging Principles into their operations. These Principles have been designed to optimise outcomes for packaging functionality and sustainability, and to help collectively deliver Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.
Australasian Recycling Label (ARL)
The ARL is an on-pack label that provides easy-to-understand instructions about how to correctly dispose of a product’s packaging. The evidence-based label clearly identifies if an item of packaging belongs in the general waste bin or the recycling bin, or if it can be recycled, provided the customer follows a simple instruction. It also provides specific instructions for all parts of the packaging, such as a jar and lid.
Packaging must be assessed through PREP – an evidence-based online tool. When determining recyclability, PREP assesses if packaging can be collected, sorted, reprocessed, and ultimately reused in manufacturing or made into another item, across the majority of communities in Australia and New Zealand.
A recent survey showed:
- 64% of customers want more information about what can and can’t be recycled.
- 65% of customers consider brands and product producers as responsible for providing accurate packaging recycling information.
- 72% of customers want the ARL to be on all packaging, even if just tells them it is not recyclable (preventing contamination).
NEW SME ARL PROGRAM
Four peak bodies have partnered to develop a SME ARL Program in 2022 to simplify information and help thousands of small and medium brands get the ARL on their existing packaging. Proudly supported by the National Retail Association (NRA), Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) and the Australian Government.
Contact the NRA team to find out more: [email protected]
Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) works with government and businesses to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in Australia.
A co-regulatory arrangement establishes APCO and the obligations for businesses to manage their packaging waste in a sustainable way.
By becoming a member of APCO, businesses receive guidance on how to improve the sustainability of their packaging. They also agree to shared commitments and responsibilities to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.
APCO has over 2,000 Australian business members from across the packaging supply chain, ranging from large multinational corporations to small local businesses.
They also undertake extensive research with universities and specialists, to ensure businesses, governments and consumers have access to the most contemporary evidence in the world.
Sustainability Resources & Submissions
Sustainability in the Retail Supply Chain | 2021
As online shopping rates remain high due to the impacts of COVID-19, sustainability is more important to Australian consumers than ever before, with 63% stating they would pay extra for a delivery service that was more environmentally-friendly. A new research report ‘Sustainability in the Australian Retail Supply Chain’ commissioned by Manhattan Associates, Shippit and Greener – in partnership with the National Retail Association (NRA) and NORA, also revealed 60% of Australian consumers are open to receiving a delivery at a later date if it meant that it was delivered more sustainably.
Detailed decision guide on plastic disposal
Detailed decision guide on plastic disposal from University of Technology Sydney.
Submission: ACT Single-Use Plastics Draft Bill
As per our submission to the ‘Phasing out single-use plastics’ the NRA supports the ACT Government's review of single-use plastic, and support most aspects of the legislation. However we submit that some challenges and queries persist.
Submission: QLD single-use plastics (July 2020)
The Queensland Government is proposing a ban on the supply of specific single-use plastic products, starting with straws, cutlery, plates and stirrers. While retailers support most of these bans, the NRA has made submissions to highlight challenges and considerations...
Submission: Victoria Container Refund Scheme
The National Retail Association (NRA) welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme for Victoria and our inclusion on the Advisory Group.
What we do
The National Retail Association Policy Team exists to help retail businesses succeed and grow within an ever-changing regulatory environment.
Our team works with a wide range of industry stakeholders – retailers, government, law enforcement, regulatory bodies, shopping centres, community groups, supporting associations and many more – to develop industry-wide policy platforms or positions on issues of importance to the Australian retail sector.
We work with all retailers across the retail and foodservice industry – regardless of size, category or business model – from the largest department chains to family-run pizza shops. Similar issues affect all retailers every day – such as retail crime, product safety and environmental legislation – and we all benefit from sharing intelligence and real-world experience.
We work actively with governments at international, federal, state and local levels to ensure the interests and needs of the Australian retail and services sectors are protected and promoted. Rather than running from inevitable regulatory change, we provide a bridge between retailers and government – facilitating the exchange of ideas and information which ultimately leads to more informed, commercially-aware outcomes for all parties.
We place real-world insight above all else, so we actively engage with retailers in stores, strip precincts and shopping centres.
We tackle the issues you can’t tackle alone.