The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) has partnered with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) to promote the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).

The ARL is an on-pack labelling scheme developed by APCO in partnership with Planet Ark and Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) Design.

It is intended to help brand owners design packaging that is recyclable at the end of its life, as well as help consumers recycle packaging correctly.

FGC chief executive Katherine Rich said: “More than 95% of scannable barcodes on packaging are common across both New Zealand and Australia, so our members need one labelling system.

“We are excited to continue this great work by championing the adoption of the ARL not just by the food and grocery sector but for all packaging.”

As part of the partnership, FGC and APCO will jointly develop a guideline to raise awareness of the ARL to benefit consumers, brand owners, packaging suppliers, recyclers and the environment in New Zealand.

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The roadmap aims to increase the number of food and grocery companies using the ARL on consumer packaging and guarantee the label is fit for purpose.

The partners also aim to support alignment by all value chain players.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said: “We are excited to be working with the FGC to increase uptake of the ARL in New Zealand and support brand owners to adopt it so they can provide their customers with critical information that will increase recycling rates and resource recovery.

“Partnerships like this are critical for supporting brands to design for the local recycling capability and to ensure credibility in consumer information.”

Last year, the FGC supported the adoption of the ARL in New Zealand after a Ministry for the Environment Report acknowledged the label as the best recycling labelling approach.