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Initiative to help SMEs switch to sustainable packaging

An education campaign was launched on 27 October 2022 to help raise awareness among small businesses about the benefits of adopting the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and taking action to improve the sustainability of their packaging.

The initiative will be delivered by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the National Retail Association (NRA), the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), and it aims to educate 20,000 small businesses about the benefits of using the ARL on-pack.

The ARL is an on-pack label that provides easy-to-understand instructions to consumers about how to correctly dispose of all parts of a product’s packaging. Providing consumers with accessible on-pack recycling information can make it easier for households to recycle, increasing resource recovery and reducing waste stream contamination. The education campaign is the first part of a series of initiatives under the SME ARL Program to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt the ARL on their packaging.

ARL explainer.

Through the campaign, SMEs will receive access to a range of free educational tools, resources and events designed to cut through confusion and empower them to take action to improve the sustainability of their packaging. Topics explored in the campaign include sustainable packaging options, the benefits of using the ARL for businesses, consumers and the environment, and important steps organisations can take to reach the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

A series of free online training topics will also be available, developed by the AIP. The training modules, along with a range of other action guides, fact sheets and toolkits will be housed on a new dedicated educational website — called the ARL Marketplace. Over the next two years, the SME ARL Program will deliver streamlined processes and tools to make it easier for SMEs to assess the recyclability of their packaging and apply the ARL.

Chris Foley, CEO, APCO (campaign lead organisation), commented: “We understand that sustainability is an important issue for small businesses, but with so many competing priorities, getting started can be difficult. Through this campaign we are excited to provide the tools and resources Australia’s small businesses need to start improving the sustainability of their packaging today.

“These organisations play an important role in the Australian business community. By helping them get the ARL on-pack and start working towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets, this campaign can provide a powerful step forward in Australia’s collective journey towards a more sustainable and circular packaging future.”

The project received grant funding from the Australian Government to support SMEs to improve the sustainability of their packaging and to adopt the ARL on their packaging.

To find out more, visit




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