Author: Sara McGregor
A new packaging recycling evaluation tool developed by Planet Ark Environmental Foundation and GreenChip to reduce consumer confusion has been nominated as a finalist for Innovator of the Year in the highly-regarded national Banksia Foundation Sustainability Awards.
The Banksia Foundation’s Award Program raises the profile of the current sustainability issues facing Australia and recognises initiatives that a make positive environmental impact.
Whether an item of packaging is recyclable is a question that confronts Australian consumers every day, but it may be confusing, incomplete or, on imported products, irrelevant to Australian kerbside recycling systems.
That’s why the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP), a world-first assessment tool, is using an innovative, straightforward approach to help packaging designers and brand owners to design product packaging that is clear and easy for people to understand.
The PREP aims to increase kerbside recycling rates throughout the country, reducing contamination in the recycling stream and recovering more recyclable material that had been previously sent to landfill.
The PREP’s software yields a more accurate packaging recyclability assessment than any assessment tool previously offered in Australia and allows designers to test different packaging configurations to increase the likelihood that they will be recycled at the kerbside.
The PREP was developed with funding support from the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), and is the result of three years of consultation with FMCG brand owners, local councils, resource recovery businesses and other stakeholders.
Already, nine major FMCG companies are using the PREP to assess the recyclability of 400 packaging products.
Major Australian brands Officeworks and Blackmores have taken the ultimate step and are using their PREP results to provide consumers with clear instructions using the new Australian Recycling Label (ARL), which was launched in August 2015.
To learn more about PREP, please visit www.prep.org.au