With great fanfare, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) launched the Plastic Pact (ANZPAC) – a voluntary program involving Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, where businesses aim to reduce their virgin plastic footprint. It largely mirrors the 2025 national plastic packaging targets for recyclable and compostable material; recycled content; and removal of dangerous single use items.
Really, it’s more of the same from the APC which has failed every previous set of targets since its establishment in 1999. It’s why only 13% of plastic packaging is recycled and just 4% contains recycled content. Boomerang released a Plan B, which sets a deadline for making the targets mandatory by early 2023.
Many of the big businesses that signed the Pact, focused on the goal of 100% of their plastic materials being (potentially) recyclable or compostable by 2025. But this means nothing if that does not occur in reality with comprehensive collection and reprocessing infrastructure. By enforcing the targets, we might have some confidence the goal of 25% recycled content and 70% actually recycled or composted – will be able to be achieved.
The only target that will assuredly be met - the phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics items – is entirely due to states passing laws to ban such items – not the voluntary approach!