Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Tanya Barden has welcomed decisions by the nation’s environment ministers that support the food and grocery manufacturing sector’s efforts to reduce plastic packaging waste, including the development of the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS).
“Food and beverage manufacturers have long supported reducing the environmental footprint of packaging without compromising the health and safety of consumers or contributing to food waste,” Ms Barden said after state, territory and federal ministers met for the Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Sydney on Friday, June 9.
“The announcement from environment ministers is a strong signal to our industry of support for these goals and we look forward to collaborating with governments and supply chain partners to deliver meaningful outcomes,” she said.
“It is encouraging that the announcement includes plans around the introduction of harmonised kerbside collection standards – a measure that is essential in providing certainty to manufacturers when developing new packaging.
“And because an essential part of any circular economy is traceability, the ministers’ plans to develop a national framework for recycled content traceability is welcome news to our members as they source quality recycled materials,” Ms Barden said.
The AFGC has been working with stakeholders across the supply chain to develop the NPRS, an industry-led scheme to close the loop on soft plastics. The Environment Ministers’ Meeting’s agreement to pursue measures such as harmonisation of kerbside standards and traceability is welcome as they align with essential elements of this scheme.
“Our pioneering soft plastic recycling scheme is not possible without traceability and harmonised kerbside recycling standards, and so we congratulate the Ministers for their attention to these important aspects,” Ms Barden said.