A tactic to tackle plastic

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) will develop Australia’s largest industry-led plastic recycling scheme.

The scheme aims to collect and recycle nearly 190,000 tonnes of plastic packaging per annum by 2025.

AFGC will develop the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS), supported by funding from the Government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (PSIF).

The scheme will initially focus on increasing the diversion of soft plastics such as bread, cereal and frozen vegetable bags, confectionery wrappers and toilet paper wrap from landfill.

It will then move on to support the increased recycling of other plastics that are currently difficult to collect and/or recycle.

“Over many years, brand owners have invested in packaging innovations that reduce food waste and have moved to using lighter-weight plastics that have a lower carbon footprint,” says CEO of AFGC, Tanya Barden.

“Continuing the focus on packaging sustainability, the NPRS will increase the recycling rates of identified plastics and reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in packaging, helping to meet Australia’s National Packaging Targets.”

What are the targets?

The National Packaging Targets include a goal of recycling or composting 70% plastic packaging and incorporating an average of 50% recycled content across all packaging by 2025.

Ms Barden concludes, “We’re excited about developing a circular economy in collaboration with our members, who comprise nearly 80% of packaged food and grocery sales, as well as governments, retailers, plastics and packaging companies, and the resources recovery industry.”

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