A U S T R A L I A
Packaged Recycling: Aussies do it best Deposit scheme past its use-by date
When the roads are paved with glass ...
DELIVERING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
foreword Australians lead the way
value in the warm glow We love it, donâ€™t steal it
litter action plan $50 million to clean up
Reflecting on a revolution Planet Ark turns 21
lightweight leader Coca-Cola Amatil does it best
packaging pledge Industry leads on sustainability
road to recovery Highways of glass
compact solution Polystyrene solution 12 one-touch solution CHEP drinks up the challenge
the final frontier Away-from-home recycling 14 Premierâ€™s pick Top spot goes to housing group
Designed and produced by Professional Public Relations
australians step up to the challenge of waste Australians have been witness to a recycling revolution that has swept their country over the past three decades.
Kicked off by the ‘’Do the Right Thing’’ campaign, launched in the late 70s, Australians have changed the way they manage litter and waste. This is because we now see recycling and reducing litter as “Doing the Right Thing”. For many it has become a way of life – to the point we almost don’t realise we’re doing it because it’s become so easy and convenient. Businesses have also taken a leading role in managing the environmental impacts of the packaging they use through involvement in the Australian Packaging Covenant. By reducing the materials used in packaging and the introduction of an effective kerbside collection scheme, we have reduced litter by 31 per cent in volume and 20 per cent by item since 1999, and increased recycling rates by more than 60 per cent since 2003. Australia has set an example to countries around the world when it comes to recycling. In 2013, 64 per cent of all packaging waste was recycled, including more than 2.9 million tonnes of bottles, cans, plastics and paper. For the past eight years, environment ministers have been considering a range of regulatory models for packaging management (stewardship) in Australia. Unfortunately, the debate around the future of packaging regulation has been bogged down in a debate of whether or not to introduce a national container deposit levy (CDL) system. There have been 37 studies, including 24 government
studies into CDL with some nine parliamentary bills proposed but never progressed. The focus on CDL overlooks the potential for a more environmentally comprehensive and effective alternative for the future of packaging product stewardship in Australia. Government analysis for the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) of the various options has shown a co-regulatory model provides the most costeffective outcomes. The Australian Packaging Covenant is the existing co-regulatory model that is world leading and best practise. The NPCIA commissioned a prominent consultancy involved in the governments’ assessment of regulatory options to assess the initiatives and the cost required to achieve further significant recycling and litter reduction. The solution is to not only continue with the current scheme, but to expand on it through added corporate and public initiatives. To do this, industry has proposed to invest $115 million in litter reduction and recycling schemes across the country over the next 10 years, through the Australian Packaging Covenant. Working with federal, state and local governments, industry, environmental groups and communities, the aim is to reduce litter by 20 per cent by 2025 and achieve a recycling rate of 75 per cent by 2020. In this issue of “Australia Packaged” you will see the breadth of impact of Australia’s successful product stewardship model – the Australian Packaging Covenant. By working together to build on this solid foundation, we will be able to realise our vision of a low litter nation with a world-leading recycling rate. — Stan Moore, CEO National Packaging Covenant Industry Association Australia Packaged March 2014
deposit scheme steals our “warm glow” Most Australians recycle and pick up litter because they feel it is the right thing to do; they don’t do it for financial incentive or for fear of penalties.
Economists call it “warm glow” – the feel-good effect on people when they do something they know is right for the environment, society or whomever. Warm glow, like any incentive, can motivate people’s behaviour and it can be a more powerful motivator than money. And, it turns out, we don’t like it when someone steals our warm glow.
It’s “warm glow” that has predominantly motivated Australia to have a very low litter per capita rate and to rank as one of the world’s leading recyclers, according to Dr Raul Barreto, senior economics lecturer at the University of Adelaide.
The desire to do the right thing provides a stronger incentive than a refundable deposit on beverage containers (CDL).
Dr Barreto points out that this hasn’t always been the case in Australia, it’s something that’s been fostered in the 30 years since the birth of the recycling movement. So just how did we evolve from being a nation of non-recyclers to becoming a nation of inherent recyclers? “Economists are always coming up with incentive schemes to get people to behave in certain ways,” Dr Barreto said. “And this whole concept of container deposit legislation, or CDL, is a typical example.”
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When the scheme was first implemented about 30 years ago, recycling was not commonplace. In order to make recycling incentive compatible, one prevalent economic train of thought was to provide monetary incentives for people to recycle. “Basically, back in the 70s, a think tank or working group, or someone, said if you want people to recycle, you need to give them an incentive,” Dr Barreto said. “And so they decided, hey, let’s give them money. And that’s what they did. “They added five cents to the cost of every can, or bottle or drink, and then you return it to get your five cents back. “In short, putting a price tag on what was once considered rubbish would be one way to do it.” The scheme was trialled in South Australia in 1977 and is still in operation today. While it certainly played a part in encouraging the population to recycle, Dr Barreto suggests it is an idea past its use-by date. There are two main reasons. First, Dr Barreto believes that warm glow is very likely more than sufficient incentive to recycle. Second, like any policy, CDL is subject to “contingency variables.” “Contingency variables” are all of the things a consumer has to do before they get a refund on their container. “I have to clean it, store it, load it into my car, drive it to the depot, wait in line, give it to some other guy and then collect my 10 cents,” Dr Barreto said. “So, while I might say ‘Wow! You’ll give me 10 cents for that piece of rubbish? Awesome!’ When I look at all the stuff I have to do to get that
Dr Raul Barreto.
10 cents – the contingency variables – it doesn’t look so good. “People want to do the right thing, but these variables can ruin everything. “The good news is; 99 per cent of people already recycle, but only when they’re at home. Do they get paid? No. That’s because when economists talk about incentive, it’s not just about money. “Economists know there is real value in the warm glow and its currency is based on ‘doing the right thing’.” Dr Barreto, who lives in South Australia, believes the expansion of the CDL scheme to other states would only serve to drive up the price of goods in containers by 10c to 20c per item. “The economics of warm glow was recognised about 15 years after CDL was introduced to South Australia, and these days our attitude to the environment has far more value as an incentive than a cash refund,” Dr Barreto said. “Our growing environmental awareness and growing need over the last 30 years to feel good about recycling is bigger than money.” So, if the incentive is warm glow and the currency is doing the right thing, what is it that drives the effectiveness of recycling? Dr Barreto says it is convenience. “The old CDL incentive is now competing with a bigger incentive,” Dr Barreto said. “The reason why our incentive to recycle at home is so powerful, is due to the warm glow, the payoff for doing the right thing, minus the cost, which is determined by the convenience of how easy it is to recycle. “What’s really interesting about South Australia
is that we have a side-by-side comparison that shows at-home-recycling is now working at a rate that makes CDL redundant. And when we’re out of the home, contingency variables have changed things so dramatically, CDL is redundant there too. “I also have the incentive to feel good about recycling when I’m not at home, but I don’t have access to my recycle bin. Thus the cost of recycling effectively increases while away from home. But if we provide convenient access to recycling away from home in the form of publicly provided recycling bins, then I can reap the benefits of recycling, i.e. warm glow, while still keeping the cost down, i.e. level of convenience. “ “Now that people’s incentives have changed, maybe our public bins should change too. In the meantime, I guess we will pay extra for drinks.”
99% of Australians recycle in the home
And even worse for CDL, according to Dr Barreto, are the unintended consequences of parallel recycling policies. “In this case people are recycling at home, but you’ve made my rubbish worth money, and so now people are digging redeemable cans out of my recycle bin at home, and in so doing often moving otherwise recyclable items into the nonrecycling bin,” he said. “They’re stealing my warm glow, which is my whole incentive to recycle.” Australia Packaged March 2014
industry groups fund $50M litter action plan Each year for the next 10 years, $5 million will be spent on funding Australia’s Litter Action Plan – a whopping commitment to continue changing Australians’ attitudes to littering.
It’s not that Australian’s aren’t already doing anything about littering; the national litter rate has dropped by 31 per cent in volume since 2005, and is continuing to decline. The most recent results for 2013 indicate that nationally, the litter volume has dropped by a further 1.8 per cent on the previous year, to a new low of 6.18 litres per 1,000sq m. Released in October, the Litter Action Plan is a collaboration between Keep Australia Beautiful and the National Packaging Covenant Industry Association, which have set ambitious targets and invested heavily in new initiatives to clean up existing litter and continue to reduce the overall litter rate in Australia.
The Litter Action Plan recognises the importance of the younger generation as agents of change.
Now, Australia’s Litter Action Plan is aiming for a volume reduction of 8 per cent by 2020 and by 2025, a national volume reduction of 20 per cent – a targeted 51 per cent overall volume reduction in the 20 years since 2005. “Over the next 10 years, Australia’s Litter Action Plan will represent an unprecedented not-forprofit partnership with all industries that will play a vital role in changing the way Australian’s think and behave about littering in public places,” Keep Australia Beautiful former national chairman Don Chambers said. The Action Plan is funded by industry represented by the Australian Packaging Covenant initiative, where over 900 signatories have signed on to
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create more sustainable packaging, decrease litter and increase recycling. Australia’s Litter Action Plan is one of the cornerstones for tackling the litter problem and industry’s way of playing an active role in the solution. Each year $5 million dollars will be made available to a wide range of littering behaviourchange initiatives across the country which fit into one of the three pillars of sustainable positive behavioural change: education, infrastructure and enforcement. For the first year of the Litter Action Plan, the budget has allocated $500,000 to enforcement, $1.5 million to education and $3 million to infrastructure. Infrastructure will receive the greater focus and funding in the first year due to investment in “overall infrastructure”, particularly in new technology in the “litter hot-spots initiative”. The hot-spots initiative aims to create a realtime mapping network which can be accessed by anyone, at any time, to help clean-up and regenerate litter hot-spots. In the early days, this network will serve to connect Australians who can identify hot-spots; over time the unifying platform will evolve into a live social volunteer network for individuals, groups, communities and councils to plot litter hotspots from all over Australia online. Volunteers and organisations can share ideas and expertise and prioritise areas and keep track of progress; it will also provide a database and record of the achievements of the network. The network will also play a key role in the enforcement pillar of the Litter Action Plan, helping report litterers and discourage negative behaviour with initiatives such as an app for mobile devices to report littering motorists. Keep Australia Beautiful, which is known as the “litter expert” in Australia and as such, crucial to
the education component of Australia’s Litter Action Plan, will be on board as a partner for this component. Formed in 1972, Keep Australia Beautiful has a national network with an office in every state and territory. Keep Australia Beautiful has been instrumental in educating the public and celebrating achievements, with programs such as Tidy Town, Clean Beaches and the LITTLE Committee. Aimed at establishing a credible voice for anti-litter initiatives, The LITTLE Committee (The
Leading Integrated Taskforce Tackling Litter Everywhere) is made up of children aged 15 years and under who will implement new initiatives for the Litter Action Plan and promote anti-litter messages. The Litter Action Plan recognises the importance of the younger generation as agents of change and will become an important part of Keep Australia Beautiful’s community communication, awareness, grass roots and educational programs.
dob on a litterer ... there’s an app for that Soon, litterers will be able to be dobbed in via an app on mobile devices as part of a new national litter reporting scheme. Born from the desire to crack down on littering motorists, Australia’s Litter Action Plan will implement a 24/7 national hotline, litter reporting website and mobile application to enable pedestrians and motorists to report offenders anywhere, anytime. Once lodged, the information will
be distributed to relevant state or territory authorities to follow up with warning letters and fines. The “Dob In A Litterer” scheme is key to the enforcement of Australia’s Litter Action Plan and while some states have local programs in place, the scheme is not widely publicised. Through the new initiative, people will be able to identify litterers without needing to confront them or put themselves in an uncomfortable situation.
With the integrated national network, Australia’s Litter Action Plan intends to unify and maximise resources across the country to streamline the process and establish a much more collaborative and effective enforcement model. Keep Australia Beautiful will be involved directly with the initiative, in particular through education programs aimed at stopping people littering in the first place.
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Planet Ark – reflecting on a revolution Planet Ark turned 21 late last year and to mark the occasion the organisation took a look back at how a revolution has shaped the way we think about recycling.
Back when Planet Ark was born, yellow wheelie bins did not exist, only half of city councils offered kerbside recycling, and if they did offer recycling, it was usually only for select paper and glass and only once a month. Needless to say things have changed quite dramatically. “Over the past 20 years, recycling has undergone nothing short of a revolution,” Planet Ark Environmental Foundation chief executive officer Paul Klymenko, said. “Not only has kerbside recycling expanded dramatically, there are now widely-available schemes for the recycling of other items like batteries, printer cartridges, soft plastics, mobile phones, televisions and computers. Recycling at work has also become more prevalent.” National Recycling Week was founded in 1996 and has become one of Planet Ark’s biggest annual campaigns, bringing together and showcasing the many initiatives the organisation is involved in year round. The week brings governments, businesses and individuals together to engage in recycling and shift the community attitudes that recycling is niche and instead something we can all be involved in. The rising problem of E-waste – which saw 29 million TVs and computers reaching the end of their lives in 2011-12 – was a high concern as only 10 per cent of units were being recycled despite the fact that 95-98 per cent of the materials used in TVs and computers are able to be fully recycled. E-waste took centre stage in 2013 for National Recycling Week following the introduction of the Australian Government’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme in 2012. With households throwing away 450,000 garbage trucks worth of food – the equivalent 8
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of $5.2 billion – National Recycling Week has been urging families around Australia to turn the tide by composting at home, urging councils to adopt a kerbside food scraps collection and education on the benefits of cutting back waste at home. Not that businesses have escaped the scrutiny of Planet Ark; the Friday File Fling held in 2013 asked offices to start recycling files and bring new paper back in to recycling circulation. Colonial First State participated this year and alone collected 124 wheelie bins full of paper; a comparable saving of 22,000 litres of water and 2,728 kilos of carbon dioxide. The wellknown MobileMuster and Cartridges 4 Planet Ark were back in force in 2013 targeting offices, which have diverted more than 22.7 million cartridges from landfill. “While we’re proud to have played an important role in the many recycling revolutions of the past two decades, we’re also excited about the future of recycling,” Klymenko said. There have been massive changes since Planet Ark first started 21 years ago and it is likely that the next 21 years will provide plenty more recycling challenges and opportunities for the organisation to navigate.
CCA a world leader in the lightweight class A decade-long quest and $450 million investment to create the world’s most eco-friendly drink bottle has resulted in Australia’s largest beverage bottler producing some of the world’s lightest drink bottles.
Technology developed in Australia by CocaCola Amatil to manufacture bottles for its top-selling Mount Franklin and Powerade products has made the company a global leader in the manufacture of lowenvironmental-impact beverage bottles. The Mount Franklin easy-crush bottle is the lightest weight Australian-produced 600ml water bottle and at just 12.8 grams, uses 35 per cent less plastic than its predecessor. CCA’s $450 million investment in “blow-fill” manufacturing technology is the largest infrastructure investment for the company in a decade, with the technology currently being installed across CCA’s facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. CCA plans to roll out new bottle designs across their entire small carbonated soft drink and water bottle ranges to incorporate the new lightweight production technology. Crucially, the new blow-fill technology is also delivering against key environmental sustainability goals in both energy and water savings – enabling bottles to be produced using less PET resin and with more recycled (or post-consumer) resin; reducing the use of cardboard and shrink plastic in secondary packaging; making labels lighter using less raw materials; and eliminating the need for a plastic liner in the closures, or caps, which are also shorter in size, and again, manufactured using less PET resin. It is estimated that more than 9000 tonnes of PET resin will be saved per year when all production lines across the group have installed blow-fill technology. CCA has also designed and developed the world’s lightest and most eco-friendly 600ml hot-fill bottle with a 38mm-wide mouth neck finish for its Powerade sports drink. The new bottle replaces the old paper label with a recycling-friendly sleeve,
no longer requires a foil seal, is 27 per cent lighter and requires less energy to fill and handle – all achieved with an improvement in taste to the product because of the lower temperatures required by the new filling process. The development program behind the 600ml Powerade Sports Cap bottle looked at all aspects of the supply chain with the aim of producing a bottle that was as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. A new cap design allowed for the removal of the foil seal from the bottle – eliminating a major litter item – without reducing the quality or shelf life of the product but increasing the flow rate from the bottle. The new shrink sleeve has been developed to be compatible with current recycling infrastructure in Australia. The bottle manufacturing process has also been designed to use up to 50 per cent recycled content, with all components of the bottle fully recyclable within existing Australian recycling streams.
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packaging pledge leads the way More than 900 Australian businesses, councils and community groups have committed to reduce, reuse and recycle.
A national agreement between business and industry to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter is reaping dividends. The Australian Packaging Covenant is a pledge by government, industry and community groups to fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues. Now in its 15th year, the APC has seen a big improvement in recycling rates and litter volumes as a direct result of many of its programs. APC general manager Vanio Calgaro said since 2005 the covenant had contributed $33 million toward the funding of 165 projects with a total project value of more than $140 million. “APC projects have accounted for up to 32.4 per cent of the overall increase in recycling tonnes between 2005 and 2012,” Mr Calgaro said. “The APC has played a role in contributing to the increase in recycling and the diversion of more than 2.9 million tonnes of packaging from landfill.”
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Mr Calgaro said the APC brought government, industry and community groups together to work co-operatively to achieve real outcomes in reducing litter and increasing recycling. “The APC now has more than 900 signatories, of which 791 are brand owners, representing up to 80 per cent of the total retail trade in Australia, and 67 per cent of signatories have formal processes in place to design and procure more sustainable packaging,” he said. “The APC is unique in that it engages all members of the packaging supply chain and requires industry to take accountable actions which lead to positive environmental outcomes.” All signatories have committed to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging by designing packaging that is more resource efficient and more recyclable. They have also pledged to increase the recovery and recycling of used packaging from households and to take action to reduce the incidence and impacts of litter. Projects undertaken by the APC include
APC track record ... •
A 24.6 per cent increase in the overall recycling rate across Australia, from the 2003 baseline of 39.2 per cent to 63.8 per cent in 2012.
A 37.1 per cent reduction in tonnage to landfill, from 2.537 million in 2003 to 1.596 million tonnes in 2012, against an increased consumption of 5.6 per cent in the same period (4.1 to 4.4 million tonnes).
Contributed funding of $33 million in support of 165 projects, worth $140 million.
Expansion of recycling infrastructure with considerable investment in glass and paper projects.
Litter education campaigns conducted in all States, across metropolitan and regional centres.
Development of away-from-home recycling services in shopping centres, fast food outlets, airports, sporting and entertainment venues and off-shore tourist resorts.
Development of recycling collection services to small business and commercial and industrial sites, in heavily populated areas, as well as regional centres.
funding to maximise recovery rates and the development of secondary markets for crushed glass in regional areas of New South Wales; funds for Coles Supermarkets to conduct a six-month trial to provide customers with a convenient and responsible way to recycle a range of plastics not included in kerbside recycling and funds for local councils to purchase mobile glass crushers. Mr Calgaro said the APC projects helped achieve a record level of 76.8 per cent for recycling of paperboard packaging in 2012 up from a baseline of 49 per cent in 2003. Glass recycling increased by 21.3 per cent to 47.3 per cent, and plastic from 20 per cent to 41.5 per cent in the same period. He said the covenant had significantly increased collaboration across the packaging supply chain – with packaging manufacturers, raw material suppliers, recovery and recycling services, research and education entities – joining brand owners, retailers and wholesalers, governments, industry associations and community groups to foster increased product stewardship of packaging.
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on the road to recovery
NSW compact solution A project which aims to divert 600 tonnes of expanded polystyrene (EPS) from landfill every year is under way in New South Wales.
Brimbank City in Victoria may not quite be the Emerald City (where the streets are paved with gold) but it has certainly got green credentials since it started paving its roads with glass. A partnership between Brimbank City Council, the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum and the Municipal Association of Victoria has seen to the construction of several demonstration sections of road in the city using recycled crushed glass as the road base. The crushed glass is used as a substitute for virgin quarried sand which is usually used in the asphalt road base. Brimbank chair of administrators Peter Lewinsky said the city was excited to be part of what had the potential to be an important recycling initiative. Municipal association president Bill McArthur said using recycled glass made both environmental and economic sense. “We can use broken glass containers collected from our kerbside collections locally in road construction, saving landfill, transport and mining of virgin resources,” he said. “Demonstration sites such as this act as an important catalyst for change.” Similar recycled crushed glass test projects have also been initiated by the Great Lakes Council in NSW, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River in Western Australia, Manningham Council in Victoria, Waverley Council in NSW and Clarence Council in Tasmania. A cost-benefit analysis completed by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River on its project showed significant savings from diverting glass containers into productive re-use.
The Australian Packaging Covenant and NSW Government are working together to significantly reduce the amount of EPS ending up in landfill. APC general manager Vanio Calgaro said the NSW State Government identified a need to accelerate the recovery of EPS, and industry – through the APC – was pleased to collaborate with the Government to make this happen. “EPS recycling rates are currently very low in Australia and it can pose a significant litter issue because it is easily blown out of bins or away from waste collection points and does not readily degrade in the natural environment,” Mr Calgaro said. The APC and State Government will provide equal funding totalling over $900,000 to 19 businesses across the state to purchase and operate EPS recycling equipment. “Twenty two heat compaction units will be rolled out across NSW, which beneficiate EPS into a form which makes it suitable for transportation to secondary markets. The project will immediately boost EPS recovery rates in the participating local government areas” Mr Calgaro said. Recipients of the funding include Sydney Fish Markets, Challenge Disability Services, Dial-A-Dump Industries, Fuji-Xerox and a number of local councils.
The compaction units reduce three bags of EPS waste to one block.
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CHEP drinks up the challenge When it comes to efficient supply-chain packaging the innovators at CHEP Australia have nailed it in one – a “one-touch” system that takes soft drinks from the manufacturer to the retail floor, all on fully reusable equipment.
CHEP’s reusable “one-touch” MultiPurpose Beverage Trays take 1.25 litre bottles of soft drink or 2 litre bottles of juice through the entire supply chain from manufacturer to retailer, eliminating around 1,250 tonnes of one-way cardboard packaging waste each year. CHEP business development manager Frank Vittoria said the tray was the result of a collaborative project led by CHEP to “imagine a more innovative beverage supply chain, which included reduced environmental impacts”. “The result is a pool of reusable Multi-Purpose Beverage Trays, which, with the Display Pallet, are a ‘one-touch’ packaging solution. This means the same packaging is used for storage, transportation and in-store retail displays,” he said. “By tackling fast turnover items and transitioning them onto a Display Pallet format, strong efficiencies are gained in both replenishment time and frequency. “Our lightweight, stackable tray design also minimises transport fuel use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. We’re delighted the tray has reduced the environmental impact of the beverage supply chain.” Designing a system that took a product from an industrial environment through to a retail environment involved satisfying a range of competing interests. As a supplier of secondary and tertiary packaging, CHEP’s challenge is to balance scale and flexibility and work with customers
to create equipment that meets the demands of an industrial-scale environment and also encourages customers to pick up a product and put it in their shopping trolley. The footprint of the Multi-Purpose Beverage Tray and Display Pallet solution is small enough to work in a grocery store aisle, replacing shelving, yet is robust enough to withstand the rigours of the supply chain. While the environmental benefits of the one-touch system are clear, research has also shown there are considerable benefits to retailers. Shelf availability is a critical influencer of sales and research has shown that replenishment rates for products that are delivered in retail-ready packaging are 20 per cent higher than for products that need to be “unpacked”. In 2012, CHEP’s Multi-Purpose Beverage Tray was Highly Commended in the Environmental Innovation category of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Green Globe sustainability awards. The award recognises technology, design or research that results in significant resource savings, new approaches in sustainable practices or innovative changes in environmental management. CHEP is the global leader in container and pooling services, operating in more than 50 countries. It supplies reusable pallets and crates and retail ready packaging for use throughout the supply chain by manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Australia Packaged March 2014
NPCIA CEO Stan Moore with Minister Greg Hunt, and Colonial representatives Stefan Preuss and Rowan Griffin.
away from home: the final frontier Property giants, retail outlets and service providers alike are joining forces with the Packing Stewardship Forum to help Australians continue their recycling efforts no matter where they are.
Late last year, Melbourne’s QV Centre and CFSGAM Property (Colonial) joined the awayfrom-home recycling revolution and officially opened its nationwide shopping centre recycling program. The project includes the upgrade or installation of 184 recycling bins across 29 of Colonial’s regional, urban and mixed use retail sector properties in Australia, to be used by 280 million shoppers. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt told the Melbourne launch that recycling was one of the easiest ways to improve the environment and efforts such as the Colonial program would make a positive difference. In Australia, there has been a significant shift in attitudes to away-from-home recycling, thanks in no small part to the hard work of the industryled Packaging Stewardship Forum, Established by the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Coca Cola Amatil in 2006, the PSF is the movement charged with the task of improving away-from-home recycling. The slogan “Do The Right Thing” was created by the PSF. The PSF was Colonial’s partner in developing its $308,948 retail shopping centre recycling network and was instrumental in securing grant money from the Australian Packaging Covenant for the program. 14
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For the PSF, helping industry establish voluntary recycling programs is what it does best. New installations, sponsored in a large part by the PSF, have brought the number of visits to awayfrom-home recycling stations up to over one billion a year. By diverting recyclables away from incorrect bins, Australians have saved the 6,704 tonnes – the equivalent of 358.9 million small drink containers. Away-from-home recycling has now taken off in all kinds of public places. Some 167 recycling and 124 waste bins which have been installed in range of parks and public areas in the Victorian Alps with the assistance of the PSF will stop the equivalent of 2.5 million bottles, cans or containers going in to landfill. Airports are in on the recycling action with 76 per cent of Australia’s airports now having recycling systems in place. Opportunities to recycle cardboard at 48 of Victoria’s busiest KFC restaurants have been implemented, diverting thousands of tonnes of waste and in Sydney, Circular Quay has also been targeted as part of a Sydney Harbour Foreshore recycle blitz, with eight units installed and more expected. In Western Australia, a mobile glass crusher has been purchased to use crushed glass in the Albany council’s civil construction programs.
premier’s top pick goes to the people’s project A project introducing recycling to a community housing estate and funded by the Australian Packaging Covenant won the top prize at the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2013.
Breaking down language barriers as well as barriers to recycling has won over not only the Premier but an entire housing estate in Victoria. The Ascot Vale Housing Estate Household Recycling Project encourages recycling among culturally and linguistically diverse and lower socio-economic status groups unfamiliar with waste management and the effects contaminants can have on landfill. The community engagement project, valued at $671,506, delivered recycling infrastructure and education to 1500 public housing residents across 839 units at the Ascot Vale Housing Estate. Residents of public housing estates generally do not have access to the household recycling service that 95 per cent of Victorians do. The project, which ran from January 2012 to June 2013, used targeted and broad-ranging community engagement and education
initiatives to spread the recycling message. Initiatives included, face-to-face education by a door knocking team drawn from residents to explain the service, a letterbox drop to all households, barbecue block parties, an excursion to a recycling facility, a recycling quiz, education sessions and composting workshops. Recycling points and signs were also established throughout the housing estate and encouraged people of all backgrounds to put the right waste in the right bins. Residents embraced the initiative, achieving a recovery rate of approximately 50 tonnes of recyclables within the first six months. The award, which is made from recycled materials central to Melbourne’s heritage, was presented to representatives of the project by the Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith.
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