The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says the decision to implement national standards and design rules for packaging is a positive step towards a circular economy – providing more clarity for retailers and reducing environmental waste.
The announcement made on 9 June at the National Meeting of Environment Ministers, will aid retailers in their transition to sustainability.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra says the ARA has long advocated for a national framework to reduce the cost and complexities of improving packaging recyclability.
“With the profound shifts in environmental challenges and customer expectations, retailers have a strong appetite to reduce waste and embrace more sustainable materials. It’s pleasing to know that they have the Federal Government’s support in undertaking this transition,” he said.
“Many businesses – particularly those who operate nationally – have found it extremely challenging to respond to incremental state by state bans, such as what we’re seeing with single-use plastics. Having a national approach reduces cost, complexity and increases compliance.
“Consumers and businesses alike are fully supportive of embracing a circular economy, and this decision takes us one step closer.”
Mr Zahra said it will be important for the Federal Government to complement this decision with increased investment in recycling infrastructure.
“The RedCycle issue showed us that no single business or entity can take on this vital job alone. We hope the Government will commit to funding further recycling infrastructure to support this transition.”