Governments, businesses and NGOs throughout the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands region have come together to form Anzpac Plastics Pact. The pact was officially launched on 18 May 2021. Its members - some sixty - represent the complete plastics supply chain, from leading brands, packaging manufacturers and retailers to resource recovery leaders and government institutions.
At the launch, Anzpac also announced that it had immediately joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact Network, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution that unites over 550 member organisations behind the shared vision of a circular economy for plastic, where it never becomes waste or pollution.
Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet. By 2040, if no action is taken, the volume of plastic on the market will double, the annual volume of plastic entering the ocean will almost triple, and ocean plastic stocks will quadruple.
With just 16% of plastic packaging currently being recycled in Australia, Anzpac will provide the significant intervention required to meet Australia’s national plastic packaging target that 70% of all plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025.
The aim of the new cross-regional programme is to transform the way plastic is managed both by eliminating unnecessary plastics, and through innovation, to ensure that the plastics that continue to be used are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, creating a circular economy for plastics.
The pact members have set four actionable targets for 2025: eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign, innovation and alternative (reuse) delivery models; ensuring 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; increasing plastic packaging collection and recycling rates by 25% for each geography within the Anzpac region; and finally, achieving an average of 25% recycled content in plastic packaging across the region.
Developing a roadmap for action will be the next step towards achieving these goals by 2025.
“It’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of organisations across the supply chain coming together to deliver solutions in the Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region,” said the Hon Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management.
Brooke Donnelly, CEO of Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia and Anzpac’s lead organisation, agreed. “To tackle plastic waste effectively we need to find solutions that aren’t constrained by national borders or old ways of thinking. Through the Plastics Pact model, we will bring together the complete plastic supply chain across the entire Oceania region, and by working with our global partners through the Plastics Pact network, develop solutions that deliver real and tangible change to the plastic problem for our region,” she said.
Apco has worked closely with EMF and Wrap UK during the past three years to develop Anzpac. The pact is also the first in the Oceania region to join EMF’s global Plastics Pact network.
“As part of the UK’s support of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance, we have been supporting the Pacific islands to tackle plastic pollution,” said David Rogers, head of international development at Wrap. “Being part of Anzpac is a really powerful way to ensure these important islands have greater influence in ending the tide of plastics that wash up on their shores every day.”