Celebrating National Recycling Week last week, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) is leading a big change in how soft plastics will be recycled in the food and grocery manufacturing industry, via the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS).
The AFGC is now one year into the development of the NPRS, which will be Australia’s largest industry-led plastics recycling scheme. Supported by funding from the federal government’s Product Stewardship Investment Fund, the National Plastics Recycling Scheme will drive a dramatic expansion of soft plastics recycling. It will also increase the availability of post-consumer, food-grade recycled plastic for use in new products.
The AFGC is currently working with industry stakeholders to develop the NPRS, including examining ways to optimise collection opportunities.
“The NPRS will increase the scale of soft plastics recycling in Australia and help create a true circular economy for plastic packaging,” AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said.
“As an industry-led and funded scheme, the NPRS will coordinate the efforts of food and grocery companies and help to meet Australia’s National Packaging Targets.”
Australia’s National Packaging Targets include a goal to recycle or compost 70 per cent of plastic packaging and incorporate an average of 50 per cent recycled content across all packaging by 2025.
Plastic packaging has an important role in the daily lives of consumers in keeping food fresh, reducing food waste and helping to keep products intact. Much of that plastic is also a valuable resource that can be recycled.
Food and grocery manufacturers are taking the lead on recycling by adopting the Australasian Recycling Label, which makes it easy for consumers to recycle packaging the right way. They are also increasing the amount of recycled material used in packaging.
AFGC member companies, including many of Australia’s best-known brands, are also proud partners of the soft plastics recycling program REDcycle.