The Australasian Recycling Label Program for Small-to-Medium Enterprises

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program has been supported by all governments in Australia to make recycling easier.

First launched in 2018 by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Planet Ark and PREP Design, the innovative on-pack labelling scheme was developed to help consumers recycle correctly and support businesses to design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life. 


The Federal Government has recently committed $5 million in funding to support small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and improve packaging recyclability and education in Australia.


Find out more about how the ARL Program can help your organisation today. 


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What is involved?

Knowing where to start to improve the sustainability of your packaging can be daunting. The ARL Program cuts through the confusion.


It provides a simple pathway for business owners to reduce the harmful impact of their product packaging on the environment.


The evidence-based program provides all of the tools and resources required for a business owner to:


1. Assess the recyclability of your product packaging: 

  • Assess the recyclability of your product packaging, including whether it belongs in the waste or the recycling bins.
  • Complete this assessment using the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) online tool, which assesses packaging recyclability in the Australian and New Zealand recovery systems.


2. Apply the label:

  • Apply an accurate recycling label to your packaging with clear and simple instructions about how to dispose of the separable packaging components, ensuring your customers know how to dispose of your packaging correctly.
  • There are three classifications of recyclability under the ARL:

3. Educate and inform:

  • Communicate with your customers about how to recycle packaging using the label.
  • Gain access to a range of resources designed to educate consumers on crucial environmental behaviours, including to look for the ARL on packaging every time they are at the bin.



What are the benefits of the ARL?

The ARL Program is good for the environment and good for business. Some of the benefits that the program provides include: 

  • Access evidence-based verification: Research shows Australians know that recycling is important, however, with more than 200 recycling labels currently on the market, many Australians are getting recycling wrong. The ARL cuts through the confusion by providing businesses with one clear, consistent and evidence-based label.
  • Reduce the harmful effect of packaging: The ARL helps to improve the recyclability of packaging and helps customers to put the right packaging in the right bin. When we dispose of our waste correctly, we reduce the amount of packaging unnecessarily entering landfill or ending up as litter in the natural environment. It also reduces the contamination levels in the recycling stream and provides a clean supply of material that can be used again in future products.
  • Show your customers you are serious about packaging sustainability. Three quarters of Australians want to see the label on every item of packaging – while just under half say the ARL would influence their decision to buy a product. By being part of the ARL Program, businesses can show a tangible commitment to packaging sustainability.


I want to join the Program, where do I begin?

There are several steps every business needs to take in order to use the label on their packaging and the APCO team is on-hand to help businesses at every step of the process. To find out more about joining, contact the APCO team at arl@apco.org.au or phone (02) 8381 3700.