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APCO and Planet Ark report reveals consumers’ recycling goals

Recycling

The Australasian Recycling Label Consumer Insights Report has revealed two thirds of Australians want more information about how to recycle correctly, while three quarters want the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to be on all packaging. 

Released by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Planet Ark, the second edition of the report was developed to better understand attitudes and behaviours towards recycling. 

Insights revealed include: 

  • 76 per cent of consumers see regularly recycling as the most obvious way to help the environment; 
  • 64 per cent of consumers want more information about what can and can’t be recycled; 
  • 65 per cent see brands and product producers as responsible for providing accurate packaging recycling information; 
  • 75 per cent of consumers are aware of the ARL; and 
  • The largest growth in awareness of the ARL is among 16–24-year-olds, increasing from 82 per cent to 91 per cent. 

“The importance of the Australasian Recycling Label Consumer Insights Report cannot be overstated. Having a comprehensive understanding of consumers awareness, perceptions, trends and confusion related to recycling behaviours is integral to creating valuable change,” APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said. 

“The continued growth of the ARL Program since its launch in 2018 has been tremendous. The Program now counts hundreds of Australia’s best-known businesses among its membership and has been widely endorsed by all levels of government, along with being recognised as a world-leading consumer education initiative in a report by the UN Environment Programme. 

“We are incredibly thankful to each of the Program’s members, who are helping consumers correctly recycle their household packaging and are looking forward to welcoming many more as we encourage brand owners and packaging manufacturers to register with the ARL Program.” 

Planet Ark co-CEO, Rebecca Gilling, said the report highlights how important it is that consumers have widespread access to accurate recycling information. 

“Misinformation and confusion are critical factors to overcome when it comes to improving recycling behaviour. Bad habits and beliefs take time to untangle. That is why trust, strategic education and the Australasian Recycling Label are such important elements for changing behaviour at the bin,” Gilling said. 

“Awareness of the ARL has dramatically increased over the past four years, with three out of four Australians now recognising the label. That is thanks to the huge growth in the amount of packaging showing the ARL, investment in promotions through digital and non-digital platforms, as well as local government waste educators championing the program. But there are still plenty of knowledge gaps to fill.” 

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