Consumers are aware of the problems caused by packaging waste but expect the industry to provide more sustainable options, according to research launched by packaging company Pact Group.
The research has found 91 per cent of Australians are concerned about the impact of packaging, with 76 per cent more concerned about packaging waste now than they were five years ago.
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Despite this, the research has found that less than half would be willing to pay more for a product with environmentally friendly packaging.
Pact Group, Executive Chairman Raphael Geminder said that Australia’s packaging industry needs smarter packaging waste solutions, with consumer sentiment shifting and government action forthcoming.
“We can no longer simply rely on consumers to solve the problem, we need government and industry working side by side to create scaled, standardised solutions to tackle packaging waste,” Mr Geminder said.
“In order to realise this vision, we require industry-wide collaboration to simplify the recycling process for consumers.
“An integrated approach will allow us to deliver innovation at scale so new solutions do not simply increase cost and lose value. Consumers should not be forced to choose between value and sustainability,” he said.
The company has announced its own targets to meet those outlined by the Environment Minister Melissa Price last week. Pact Group aims to eliminate all non-recyclable packing, offer 30 per cent recycled material across its portfolio and provide solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle all single use secondary packaging in supermarkets by 2025.
Mr Geminder said there are tangible, incremental changes that can be made today, with longer-term changes which will require cross industry collaboration.
“I will be calling on my industry colleagues to work together with us on common platforms, agreed standards and processes that will create a framework for manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to solve problems systematically,” he said.
Image Credit: Pact Group. Pictured Raphael Geminder (L) and Melissa Price (R)