Nestlé aims to help end confusion around recycling

This article first appeared in Convenience and Impulse Retailing, authored by Deborah Jackson

Nestlé has asked for more companies to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to help rectify common recycling mistakes.

New research from Nestlé has revealed that while 95 per cent of Australians claim they are confident about recycling their household waste, an alarming 88 per cent are putting everyday household items in the wrong bin.

The study found that 86 per cent of people are taking the time to look on pack for recycling instructions but inconsistent on-pack labels are causing confusion.

Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Oceania, said there is only one labelling scheme that makes it clear – and that’s the ARL.

The label provides Australians with easy to understand recycling information and makes it easier to ensure they are choosing the right bin for the right packaging. It removes confusion, saves time, and reduces waste going to landfill.

“More than 600 companies have adopted the Australasian Recycling Label but we’re calling on more companies to do so. We must help people by providing clear, concise, and consistent labelling to make sure that the right things get to our recycling centres and don’t end up in landfill,” said Stuart.

“We know Aussies care about the environment and want to do the right thing – but when they’re standing at the bin they simply want to know ‘Can this be recycled’ and ‘What bin do I put this in’?

“There are lots of recycling labels on the market – such as ‘Recycle me’, ‘Remember to recycle’ and even the Mobius loop – but these don’t necessarily mean the packaging is recyclable or tell people how to recycle it.”

Household recycling mistakes highlighted by the study include 36 per cent of people believe that takeaway coffee cups can go in recycling bins – but most aren’t recyclable.

When it comes to aluminium foil, 68 per cent aren’t aware that this can go into household recycling bins if pieces are scrunched together to the size of a golf ball.

With cardboard, 39 per cent aren’t flattening it before recycling. And 55 per cent think used pizza boxes can be recycled – but don’t know that bits covered in grease or leftover food can’t be, but the clean parts can.

Danial Gallagher, CEO, Recycler iQ Renew, said they see the results of Aussies’ over-confidence and the confusion that inconsistent labels can cause when the contents of recycling bins arrive at their sorting facility.

“We see so many things come through that simply shouldn’t be there. Recycling right is so important for the environment and keeping our recycling streams clean helps us make the most of that opportunity.”

Nestlé is committed to making 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and is rolling out the ARL on all its locally manufactured products to help consumers know how to recycle right.

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