AFGC welcomes approval of recycling initiative

Posted by Isobel Drake on 12th November 2008

The Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia’s peak food and grocery manufacturing representative body, has welcomed recognition from the nation’s Environment Ministers that the National Packaging Covenant has played a significant role in increasing consumer packaging recycling rates by 16 per cent over the past three years.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said it was pleasing to see last week’s meeting of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council acknowledge the success of the National Packaging Covenant’s mid-term Review. “It is great to see that the National Packaging Covenant, which has the full support of the AFGC, has been able to make significant progress towards meeting the packaging recycling target of 65 per cent by 2010,” she said. “The success has been a result of a commitment from industry and government to work together to reduce consumer packaging waste.”

Ms Carnell said that the National Packaging Covenant – a co-regulatory waste management initiative supported by government, industry and environmental groups – was an excellent example of how industry and all levels of government could cooperate to achieve outstanding results without the unnecessary costs of burdensome regulation.

“The fact that Environment Ministers at the Council meeting agreed that the findings of the review provided a firm basis for extending the Covenant arrangements beyond their expiry in June 2010 represents a win for the Covenant and a win for the environment,” she suggested. “All of the independently audited evidence suggests that recycling rates are increasing, whilst private sector involvement in the Covenant is at an all time high.

“The Covenant is a unique mechanism that has established a robust framework, is working well and is in a good position to move forward and address the areas identified for improvement.”

Ms Carnell added that the AFGC is committed to improving and building on the proven successes that the Covenant has already achieved. “Industry looks forward to continuing to contribute to the Covenant process and working with both the federal and state governments to ensure that the Covenant’s post June 2010 framework is maintained,” she concluded.