More than 60 organisations, businesses and brands from across the Oceana region have signed a pact committing to reduce plastic waste.
Amongst those who have signed the ANZPAC Plastics Pact are major supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles, as well as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Arnott’s Biscuits, Vanuatu Brewing and the Samoa Tourism Authority. The pact aims to drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific by 2025, by eliminating problematic plastic packaging and ensuring that any that remains is recyclable, reusable or compostable.
The Pact is led by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), which is also responsible for delivering Australia’s national 2025 targets on plastic packaging. It has been three years in the making and follows years of crisis in the broken waste industry.
Brooke Donnelly from the APCO said more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste ended up in landfill or the environment in Australia every year.
“What we’re really trying to address here is a systemic problem that says the plastics system is actually broken. Our take, make and dispose approach means too much plastics waste is actually ending up in landfill.”
– Brooke Donnelly, APCO
About two-thirds of plastic packaging sold in Australia is already recyclable, but only just over a quarter is actually recovered, with packaging made out of several different types of plastic, or of sizes or colours, also being difficult to recycle.
The next step for the businesses who have signed the pact is to develop a road map for how they will reach the targets.
What can consumers do?
According to Ms Donnelly, the best role for consumers is to support businesses committed to change, and forego the rest.
“Vote at the register if you want to call out organisations that aren’t sustainable,” she said.