Differences between ‘recyclable’ and ‘recycled’ claims in the regulatory framework

With consumers and businesses increasingly considering the environmental aspects of products and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiating enforcement actions against ‘greenwashing’ claims, many food businesses need to appreciate the limits and restrictions on promoting their environmental and sustainability claims. Whilst environmental sustainability has many attributes, two of the most common environment-related claims pertain to the descriptions ‘recyclable’ and ‘recycled’. This article explains various differences between these two descriptions, and considers some of the important issues that a food or packaging business should consider when referencing ‘recyclable’ or ‘recycled’ in relation to their products or packaging.