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How to overcome challenges around sustainability goals

Last week The Startup Collective hosted a seminar in Melbourne to initiate conversation on how to overcome the challenges around sustainability goals, and in particular packaging targets.

Here is an overview of our takeways from Hang, our Business Development Manager based in Melbourne who attended this event.

Bonnie Marshall (National Retail Association) kick started the discussion, sharing the latest regulations and policies around the plastic legislation (eg. single-use plastics ban) and The 2025 National Packaging Targets (pictured below).

Bonnie also shared the below shocking figures that left the room in disbelief and started a series of tangent discussions!

Bonnie encourages businesses to implement the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) into their packaging design, as per the Australian Governments aim to have 80% of supermarket products to display this label by 2023, to assist consumers with sorting packaging to help meet the 2025 goal.

The ARL helps:

· Consumers to recycle correctly, reducing the amount of packaging that enters landfill or end up as litter in our environment

· Businesses and brands to reduce their environmental impact

· Ensure packaging materials are captured and processed into new products

Anthony Peyton (PREP Design) showcased the PREP (Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal) tool to help businesses assess the recyclability of their packaging and select the correct ARL identification.

We all know about the Waste Hierarchy Pyramid but Anthony encourages businesses to consider the paired hierarchies concept during their product development, looking at ‘Design for End of Life’, ‘Prolong Product Life’ and ‘Zero Materials Consumption’.

John Bigley (Zipform Packaging) showcased his innovative fibre-based packaging design containing >60% recycled content, which is kerbside recyclable and contributes to the circular economy.

Congratulations to John and the Zipform team on the upcoming opening of their manufacturing site in Dandenong South!

Harri Jordan (Ocean Integrity) and Anhely Millan (Innovation for Future / Sustainability for Kids) highlighted how businesses can adopt a sustainability mindset and take small steps in creating a sustainable future.

For example, Anhely’s journey included:

1. Adopting Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations),

2. Undergoing the B-Corp assessment to understand sustainability gaps her business, and

3. Partnering with reputable environmental businesses, such as Ocean Integrity, to achieve big picture sustainability goals

Very insightful discussions overall to understand where we're at as an industry and what it will take to improve. Let's keep the conversation and these events happening so we can keep on track.

Thank you to all the presenters and organisers!


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