CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - The Australian Trade Practices Commission has issued guidelines to help Australian businesses making claims about the recyclability of plastic packaging. Allan Fels, TPC chairman, said that under Australia's Trade Practices Act, the Federal Court can fine firms found guilty of misleading or deceptive conduct up to A$200,000 (US$145,320) per offense.
The Canberra-based TPC is concerned consumers may be misled, thinking products with a chasing arrows plastic identification code will be accepted by local recyclers.
According to TPC's guidelines, the voluntary resin code may be used on the base of a container, but it should not be presented in a way that gives the impression the plastic can be recycled if that is not the case.
In Australia, some PET products are recyclable. But no facilities exist in Australia for recycling colored vinyl and colored high density polyethylene bottles, according to TPC. Plastic supermarket bags can be recycled only through facilities established by specific retailers.
Australia's Plastics & Chemical Industries' Association, Grocery Manufacturers' Association and Australian Supermarket Institute helped draft the TPC guidelines.