From this month, Sanitarium Health Food Company’s flagship brand Weet-Bix will include the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), alerting consumers of its commitment to sustainability with 100 per cent recyclable packaging.

Sanitarium executive general manager Todd Saunders said displaying the ARL on Weet-Bix boxes was an important step in the company’s sustainable packaging efforts, with a 2021 Consumer Insights Report finding the ARL doubled the likelihood of packlaging being recycled.

The ARL makes it clear that the Weetbix carton and flexible plastic liner are both recyclable.

“If every Weet-Bix consumer recycled the inner, plastic liner through a REDcycle bin, 200 tonnes of plastic would be diverted from landfill every year,” explained Saunders.

The iconic brand will now sport the Australasian Recycling Label.
The iconic brand will now sport the Australasian Recycling Label.

“We want every Aussie kid, young and old, to know that Weet-Bix packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and understand how to do it. 

“We know 60 per cent of customers are looking on pack for information about how to recycle correctly. The launch of the ARL on the Weet-Bix box provides an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and improve recycling habit,” Saunders said.

According to Brooke Donnelly, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) CEO, it was great to see the ARL on such an iconic brand with the ability to reach millions of consumers.

“This will help give many more Australians the information they need to make better recycling decisions and help them support a sustainable future,” Donnelly said.

“Having Weet-Bix as part of the ARL community will also inspire other manufacturers to join the growing number of members helping Australians to recycle more and correctly. 

“The outcomes from this, and other industry-led initiatives aimed at reducing plastic and other materials from landfill, will help us to achieve the 2025 National Packaging Targets.” 

After the ARL’s rollout on Weet-Bix boxes this month, Sanitarium Peanut Butter and Marmite spreads will follow suit in the coming months.

Sanitarium will support its ARL rollout with a social media campaign and information on the company website, which includes practical tips and advice on responsible packaging disposal and food waste reduction.

100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025

The Australian-owned health food company is also working towards making 100 per cent of its packaging across its product portfolio reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. 

Andrew Whitson, packaging research development manager for Sanitarium, said it’s an ambitious goal. 

“The 2025 National Packaging Targets are driving exciting innovation across the entire packaging value chain,” said Whitson.

“While there are some complex technical challenges to overcome, we are committed to working with our partners to find solutions, which balance end-of-life considerations with the need to provide consumers with a safe, nutritious and great-tasting product that meets the high-quality standards they have rightly come to expect.”

Food waste is another consideration for Sanitarium in assessing the sustainability of packaging solutions.

“More than five million tonnes of food ends up in Australia landfill every year, with the UN estimating that 10 per cent of global greenhouse gases come from food that is produced but not eaten,” added Whitson.

“Ensuring our products travel undamaged through the supply chain, and stay fresh for longer once in household pantries, is another way we can contribute to reducing the impact of our products on the planet.”

Sanitarium is also working closely with industry groups and government, including APCO and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), to support consumers to recycle more and recycle better.

Research conducted by Planet Ark for National Recycling Week found less than half of Australians knew soft plastics could be easily recycled through REDcycle.

Soft plastics, including the soft plastic inner bag of a Weet-Bix pack, can be dropped into REDcycle bins at Coles and Woolworths stores nationally.

On the Central Coast of NSW, where Sanitarium is based at Berkeley Vale, council residents can also register for Australia’s first kerbside soft plastic recycling programknown as Curby.

This article first appeared in our sister title PKN Packaging News.

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