Navigating Recycling: Key Insights from the ARL Consumer Insights Report 2023

Navigating Recycling: Key Insights from the ARL Consumer Insights Report 2023

The latest Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Consumer Insights Report 2023 by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) offers a fresh perspective on the recycling behaviours and attitudes in Australia and New Zealand. This report is an annual benchmarking survey that provides crucial insights for consumers, businesses, and policymakers.


Australians’ Strong Belief in Recycling

The report unveils a strong belief among Australians in the impact of recycling. A notable 74% of Australians consider a trip to the recycling bin as the most impactful environmental action, surpassing other actions like using reusable bags (61%) or switching off lights (58%). This underlines a deep-rooted environmental awareness in the Australian populace.


Confusion in Recycling Practices

Despite this high regard for recycling, confusion persists. Half of the Australian households find it challenging to discern recyclable items, and 65% seek more information about recycling. This confusion highlights a gap between environmental consciousness and practical application, underscoring the need for more straightforward recycling guidelines.


Embracing Local Recycling Initiatives

Australians are increasingly participating in local recycling programmes. An impressive 21% use their local container deposit schemes for plastic bottles, and 30% recycle aluminium cans for cash. This trend indicates a growing engagement with available recycling facilities.


The Impact of On-Pack Labelling

On-pack labelling, particularly the ARL, emerges as a significant factor in enhancing correct recycling practices. The report notes that 62% of Australians look for recycling advice on packaging labels, and a significant 76% are aware of the ARL, a marked increase from 47% in 2018. The presence of the ARL on packaging has proven to improve correct recycling habits.


The Role of ARL in Packaging Design

The ARL programme has positively influenced packaging design choices, promoting sustainable and circular economy initiatives. As the only evidence-based recycling label in both countries, the ARL plays a crucial role in informing consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions, emphasising the importance of responsible packaging.


Business and Consumer Alignment

The report stresses the need for businesses to provide clear and accurate recycling information. Chris Foley, CEO of APCO, highlights the importance of understanding consumer challenges in recycling and providing solutions that simplify the process. He emphasises that the ARL is not just a tool for consumers but also for businesses to understand their environmental impact through packaging choices.


In summary, the ARL Consumer Insights Report 2023 reflects a strong environmental commitment among Australians and New Zealanders, coupled with a need for clearer information and practical solutions to recycling challenges. The role of the ARL in facilitating correct recycling practices is undeniable, marking a significant step towards sustainable packaging and recycling efforts. As we progress, the insights from this report can guide effective strategies for both consumers and businesses in their journey towards a more sustainable future.


To access the full Australasian Recycling Label Consumer Insights Report 2023, click here.