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APCO to help dairy industry increase recycling capability

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), in partnership with Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Products Federation, has published the Australian Dairy Sustainable Packaging Roadmap to 2025. This resource looks at the current state of play regarding sustainable packaging in the dairy industry and what needs to be done as the industry works towards achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Progress has already been made by dairy manufacturers but the industry continues to face a series of barriers and challenges. The new roadmap provides a collective vision and framework for improving the sustainability of dairy packaging moving forward, along with direction for the industry on the progress now required, highlighting opportunities for collaboration on the road towards the 2025 targets and the development of a sustainable circular packaging ecosystem in Australia.

As part of the plan laid out in the roadmap, dairy manufacturers will review all of their packaging to identify and implement opportunities to optimise for sustainability. This includes exploring possibilities for the elimination and/or reduction of packaging items, reusable packaging, improved recyclability and the increased use of recycled content.

To achieve these goals, the industry’s manufacturers are seeking support from other stakeholders. The roadmap lays out a number of actions needed across the supply chain, including:

  • Packaging manufacturers and researchers to innovate and develop alternatives to non-recyclable packaging formats.
  • Recyclers to provide sufficient quantities of food-grade recycled resins to allow manufacturers to meet recycled content targets without compromising product quality and safety.
  • Consumers to reuse or recycle dairy packaging at end of life.
  • National, state, territory and local governments to provide fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks, to ensure safety standards and verification of end-to-end resource recovery and recycling systems, through inter alia:

o    the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM).

o    Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

o    Industry-based regulators.

o    other instruments as required to support achievement of the 2025 Targets and ensure appropriate safety standards are in place.

The roadmap was developed in collaboration with the Australian dairy manufacturing industry with extensive consultation across the packaging value chain over more than 18 months.

“This roadmap clearly lays out the path the dairy industry needs to take in the coming years to achieve the 2025 Targets. Collective action across the supply chain is an absolute necessity and it is fantastic to see the willingness already on display across the dairy industry to make the transition to a more sustainable model,” said Brooke Donnelly, CEO of APCO.