Major companies sign on to Australia and Oceania plastics pact

A new organisation to “lead efforts” to eliminate plastic in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands was launched in Sydney this week.

The ANZPAC Plastics Pact comprises 60 founding members from across the plastics supply chain, including corporations, packaging manufacturers and retailers, resource recovery leaders, governments, and NGOs.

Its members have pledged to work towards reaching four targets by 2025, including:

  • Eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and alternative (reuse) delivery models.
  • Ensuring 100 percent of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025.
  • Increasing plastic packaging collected and effectively recycled by 25 percent for each geography within the ANZPAC region; and
  • averaging 25 percent recycled content in plastic packaging across the region.                      

ANZPAC’s lead organisation will be the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).

APCO chief executive Brooke Donnelly, pictured above, congratulated the founding members “on their genuine commitment to achieving a circular economy for plastics and their willingness to break down traditional barriers and accelerate truly innovative solutions”.

However, the Australian Greens have criticised the initiative, saying the targets undercut the 2025 National Packaging Targets agreed by state and federal Environment Ministers in April 2018 – specifically the key target to ensure 30 percent average recycled content will be included across all packaging by 2025.

Greens spokesman for waste and recycling Peter Whish-Wilson said: “We should be ramping up actions to meet waste and recycling targets, not weakening them, and the producers within the packaging industry need to play a key role in this”.