Understanding the Australasian Recycling Label
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is a program that helps brand owners design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life, and gives consumers information on how to recycle products correctly. Many consumers think that they are recycling properly, but Planet Ark research shows that 99% are still throwing items in the wrong bin. The ARL was launched in 2018 and a recent report for the Australian Council of Recycling found that 23% of products on Australian supermarket shelves now contain the ARL with over 270 companies using the program. We’re certainly seeing an increase in the number of labels we print with the ARL included in the artwork!
Developed by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, Planet Ark and PREP Design, the ARL scheme aims to increase recycling and recovery rates as well as contribute to a cleaner recycling stream. The ARL is powered by the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP), a free online tool for members of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation that assesses packaging recyclability for recovery systems in Australia and New Zealand. PREP takes into consideration a host of factors that can impact recyclability, including:
- Packaging shape, size and weight
- Availability of collection services
- How the packaging will behave in a Materials Recovery Facility
- How it will behave in subsequent processing facilities e.g. paper mills and aluminium smelters
This tool then creates the applicable on-pack messaging for brand owners to include on their labels. Clear and accurate instructions tell the consumer how to dispose of each separable component of the packaging.
As a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) since 2013, we’re pleased to see the continued uptake of the program and we encourage our customers to utilise the ARL on their labels. To learn more about the ARL, contact us for an expert consultation or visit the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation website.