New campaign encourages Australians to Check It! Before You Chuck It
12 October 2020
Australia suffers a crisis of confidence when it comes to recycling, recent study reveals
New campaign encourages Australians to Check It! Before You Chuck It to improve recycling behaviours
Check It! Before You Chuck It, a new campaign to educate Australians about sustainable packaging and inspire positive recycling behaviours, has launched today. Developed in partnership by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Planet Ark, and supported by the Australian Government, the campaign calls on all Australians to check the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) every time they are at the bin so that they recycle their packaging right.
The launch of the campaign comes off the back of a recent study, Community Attitudes to Waste and Recycling, by Pact Group which has highlighted the need for education around how to recycle right and develop positive recycling behaviours. The study revealed 81% of Australians are not confident they recycle everything effectively.
The study also revealed that of those Australians that identify as confident recyclers, one in five (22%) admitted that if they were unsure of whether an item could be recycled or not, they would dispose of it in their kerbside recycling bin regardless. This phenomenon known as ‘’wish-cycling’’ is a major contributor to contamination in the waste stream and valuable materials entering landfill unnecessarily.
Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, said: “One of the best practical things we can do to help the environment is to recycle correctly. This new recycling campaign, funded by the Federal Government, is a fantastic reminder to always be mindful of recycling correctly by looking for the packaging label before chucking things in the bin. Recycling correctly reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and enables new products to be made and re-used again and again”.
Rebecca Gilling, Deputy CEO, Planet Ark, comments, “We know Australians are passionate about the environment and want to do the right thing. The most common place people look for recycling information is on product packaging, therefore we need to have consistent labelling on that packaging that truly reflects Australia’s recycling infrastructure. The second step is to educate Australians to look for the Australasian Recycling Label when they are at the bin, which will help them recycle right, reduce contamination in our recycling streams and keep recyclable materials in circulation.”
The Check It! Before You Chuck It campaign also aims to generate widespread awareness of the ARL, an evidence-based on-pack label that clearly shows Australians how to correctly recycle and dispose of packaging after use. Since its launch in 2018, the ARL Program has gained widespread support from government and industry, with many of Australia’s best-known brands and retailers carrying the label on their product packaging.
Brooke Donnelly, CEO, APCO, says “We want consumers to feel empowered about the important role they play in helping Australia to get our approach to recycling right. By educating households and businesses to source separate effectively by looking for and following the ARL instructions, we can reduce contamination in the waste stream and ensure valuable materials have the opportunity to be recycled into new products. Research consistently shows that Australians are confused by recycling – this campaign will help to cut through that confusion with one simple action every time consumers are at the bin: to check it before they chuck it.”
Sanjay Dayal, Managing Director and CEO, Pact Group, says, “As Australia’s biggest recycler and user of recycled materials in Australia and New Zealand, Pact Group understands how important it is that households and businesses have the information they need to recycle properly. Reducing confusion and improving our waste stream will help build Australia’s circular economy and reduce our reliance on imported recycled materials. This will unlock significant environmental and economic benefits while creating high quality, local manufacturing jobs for generations to come.”
Adrian Cullen, Woolworths Head of Sustainability said: “We’re reducing plastic and increasing recyclability across our Own Brand packaging. We know our efforts have the greatest impact when packaging is disposed of in the right place. The Australasian Recycling Label makes using the right bin easy, so we’re pleased to get behind this campaign to help make it second nature to ‘check it before you chuck it’. We were proud to be the first Australian supermarket to commit to adopting the Australasian Recycling Label across our Own Brand range three years ago and remain committed to supporting the development of a circular economy.”
The new campaign, which was developed using principles of behaviour change, is headlined by an engaging animation which introduces a cast of interactive characters who visually demonstrate the positive recycling behaviour of checking the ARL before chucking your packaging in the bin so that you can dispose of it correctly and recycle right. The Check It! Before You Chuck It call to action is reinforced by a catchy song which accompanies the animation and supported by a suite of creative assets which will all be shared with Australians through a number of platforms including social media.
For more information about Check It! Before You Chuck It and the ARL, please visit: www.arl.org.au
The campaign animation is available here: https://bit.ly/33CUPya
NOTES TO EDITORS
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ABOUT CHECK IT! BEFORE YOU CHUCK IT
Check It! Before You Chuck It is the first phase of a two year national consumer education campaign being delivered by APCO, designed to improve sustainable packaging awareness, education and behaviour in Australia by addressing a range of packaging sustainability issues, including recycling, recycled content, compostable and reusable packaging, packaging reduction and avoidance. The first area of focus is recycling, with Check It! Before You Chuck It launching in October to remind people to always check for the Australasian Recycling Label so they can correctly dispose of their packaging. This project is supported by the Australian Government.
Campaign animation available here: https://bit.ly/33CUPya
ABOUT THE ARL
The Australasian Recycling Label Program is an on-pack labelling scheme that helps consumers to recycle correctly and supports businesses to correctly design for, label and communicate about packaging recyclability. The ARL Program was developed in 2018 by APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation), Planet Ark and PREP Design. Since the launch of the label in September 2018, more than 460 organisations have joined the ARL Program, including many of Australia’s best-known brands and retailers, with tens of thousands of products already carrying the label in market.
For more information about the ARL: www.arl.org.au
ABOUT PLANET ARK
Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation with a vision of a world where people live in balance with nature. Established in 1992, it is one of Australia’s leading environmental behaviour change organisations with a focus on working collaboratively and positively. Planet Ark promotes and creates simple, positive environmental actions – for everyone.
ABOUT AUSTRALIAN PACKAGING COVENANT ORGANISATION
APCO is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. APCO is the agency charged by government to deliver Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets and make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. To achieve this goal, APCO is working closely with government and industry to deliver a range of sustainable design, recycling, waste to landfill reduction and circular economy projects. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading product stewardship organisations with a strong national and global collaborative network, APCO is committed to reducing the environmental impact of packaging on Australian communities by moving towards a circular economy.
For more information about APCO: www.packagingcovenant.org.au
ABOUT Pact Group
Pact Group is a leading provider of specialty packaging solutions in Australasia, servicing both consumer and industrial sectors. Pact Group specialises in the manufacture and supply of rigid plastic and metal packaging, materials handling solutions, co-manufacturing services and recycling and sustainability services.
For more information about Pact Group: www.pactgroup.com.au