Industry recommendations: NPC reporting for sustainability
In December 2019, the “Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand” report was issued by The Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister recommending an “Audit of the supply chain to look for opportunities to reduce plastic use.”
An industry working group involving the Food and Grocery Council, Woolworths New Zealand, Foodstuffs North Island and South Island looked at solutions for how packaging information could be consistently identified and collected.
They agreed GS1 NZ’s National Product Catalogue (NPC) is the best place to store/share this product packaging information to aid the industry in reporting sustainability improvements.
GS1 has updated the NPC to make it easier to enter the additional packaging information, enabling the following:
1. New attributes be used to describe a product’s packaging and sustainability:
- packagingMaterialCompositionQuantity + measurementUnitCode, packagingRecyclingSchemeCode
The current retailer data requirements are:
2. Each packaging component, as well as the material and sustainability features can be declared.
By using the PackagingFeatureCode field in the NPC (a repeatable data field), you will be able to declare individual packaging components (for example, lids, containers, protective seals). The retailers’ expect this to be completed if you have signed up to a packaging initiative - such as The NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration - you can use this functionality to provide all relevant packaging information.
Middleware users should engage their providers.
GS1 is completing development of this for NPC Rapid users.
3. Data must be accurate, especially the material type used.
From February 2022, retailers will implement a new requirement where packagingMaterialTypeCode will need to be specific, for example plastic resin type, colour glass, ferrous or non ferrous metal etc.
If the packaging material you are using is missing from the code list please contact [email protected]
4. Work with other solution providers to avoid duplication of effort.
GS1 is working to integrate with the PREP tool to enable data to flow between systems. The PREP (Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal) tool is an online platform which manufacturers use to verify if their packaging is or isn’t recyclable in Australia and New Zealand. Using this platform allows organisations to use the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on pack.