The National Retail Association has announced that significant updates are being delivered to the Packaging Forum’s Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) programme. 

The updates follow the New Zealand Ministry for Environment’s new standards for kerbside recycling in the country.

Effective from 1 February 2024, these changes aim to standardise the materials collected and excluded from household kerbside recycling services. 

The ARL team is enacting a staged approach to assist organisations in adapting to these changes.  

The Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) will now classify certain packaging items differently.  

Packaging with paper/cardboard as the primary material and aluminium as a secondary material, as well as other materials such as foil-lined cartons, gable-top cartons, and rigid low-density polyethylene (PET) will fall under the ‘Not Recyclable’ category.  

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Meanwhile, aluminium foil, rigid polyvinyl chloride, and rigid crystalline PET unpigmented as primary materials, along with coloured transparent rigid PET, will be classified as ‘Recyclable with Lost Value’.  

The same classification applies to water-dissolvable biopolymers used as a secondary material on rigid PET. 

Organisations must review their PREP assessment against the new PREP Guidance Document document for any new products requiring the ARL to ensure the label is applied correctly. 

The ARL programme is also investigating alternative stewardship options for items such as caps, lids, and tops, as well as food and beverage cartons.  

Furthermore, metal recyclers are now offering drop-off solutions for various metal packaging types, excluding aerosols.