From this month, Sanitarium Health Food Company will include the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on their Weet-Bix boxes, alerting customers that 100 per cent of the packaging can be recycled.
It just takes three simple steps – eat the Bix, recycle the box and REDCycle the bag.
Displaying the ARL on Weet-Bix boxes is an important step in Sanitarium’s sustainable packaging efforts, with a 2021 Consumer Insights Report finding the ARL doubled the likelihood of consumers recycling soft plastic.
“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,” Sanitarium Health Food Company executive general manager Todd Saunders said.
“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 iconic Weet-Bix box provides an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and improve recycling habit.”
A box of Weet-Bix can be found on breakfast tables in around half of all Australian homes. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) CEO Brooke Donnelly said 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.”
The ARL will appear on Weet-Bix boxes from this month and Sanitarium Peanut Butter and Marmite spreads in the following months.
Sanitarium will support its ARL roll-out with a social media campaign and information on the Sanitarium website, that includes practical tips and advice on responsible packaging disposal and food waste reduction.
100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
The wholly Australian-owned health food company, known for its advocacy for plant-based nutrition and its community care initiatives, is also working towards making 100 per cent of packaging across its product portfolio to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
“The 2025 National Packaging Targets are driving exciting innovation across the entire packaging value chain,” Sanitarium Health Food Company packaging research development manager Dr Andrew Whitson said.
“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 Australian landfill every year, with the UN estimating that 10 per cent of global greenhouse gases come from food that is produced but not eaten,” Whitson said.
“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 working closely with industry groups and government, including APCO and the Australian Food and Grocery Council, to support consumers to recycle more and recycle better. Research conducted 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. The soft plastic collected in REDCycle bins are used to create a huge range of products, including fitness circuits, sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more.
On the Central Coast of New South Wales, where Sanitarium is based at Berkeley Vale, Central Coast Council area residents can also register for Australia’s first kerbside soft plastic recycling program, Curby.
For more information, visit www.sanitarium.com.au/sustainable-packaging.