The Australian Government has launched a national campaign to incentivise Australians to recycle more, as well as to buy more products manufactured with recycled content.
The ‘ReMade in Australia’ campaign signals a shift in how the country deals with its waste, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and makes recycling one of six national manufacturing priorities moving into an election year.
“Australians are doing the right thing and they want to be assured that the efforts they make in recycling at their homes and workplaces are delivering real outcomes, from the roads they drive on to the sunglasses they choose to wear,” Morrison said.
“We need to recycle even more, and this campaign will help consumers and business understand the benefits that recycling can deliver for our environment and for jobs.”
A larger shift toward recycling could drive a push toward a low-carbon, circular economy, said Australian Retailers Association boss Paul Zahra, with retail already beginning to use recycled content in packaging and products.
“There are many ways consumers and retailers can demonstrate their commitment to the environment, but recycling is often front of mind because it’s something we do daily,” Zahra said.
“The Remade in Australia campaign will continue to promote the importance of recycling. More importantly though, the campaign will fast-track the growth of new markets in recycled content, enabling more producers to move away from virgin materials for their packaging and prodcuts.
“These types of measures are critical in the transition to a more circular economy, which will play a key role in the decarbonisation of the retail sector.”
Zahra notes that sustainability and climate change are the next big disruptors in the retail sector, both locally and internationally, and while some choices businesses need to make on this front are complex, recycling is simple.
To deal with this coming shift, the ARA recently launched its Net-Zero Roadmap for the retail industry – one which sets emissions-reduction targets for the sector between 2030 and 2050.
By 2030, the plan hopes Australian retailers will be creating net-zero emissions from electricity consumption, with all sites powered by renewables, alongside a ‘mainstream’ adoption of packaging from the circular economy and a commitment of zero deforestation.
By 2050, the ARA wants all retailers to extend their net-zero commitments to waste, third-party shipping, warehousing and distribution, agriculture and aquaculture production, and hopes for mainstream adopting of net-zero products.