Australian government and corporations aim to have 100 per cent sustainable packaging by 2025

Australia’s ambitious 2025 national packaging targets have the Australian government and leaders in sectors including food and packaging working together to create a more environmentally friendly country.

On the 25th of September, the minister for the environment, Melissa Price, joined leaders from packaging, retail, logistics, manufacturing, recycling and waste management businesses in a pledge to better manage packaging waste.

Australia’s 2025 national packaging targets were announced at an event in Melbourne, convened by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).

The 2025 targets are for 100 per cent of Australia’s packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

READ: Detmold Group recognised for sustainable packaging excellence at APCO awards

Seventy per cent of Australia’s plastic packaging should be recycled or composted and a 30 per cent average recycled content should be included across all packaging by 2025.

The goal is also to have all problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging phased out through changes in design, innovation or alternative methods.

These targets build on commitments made by commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers and the president of the Australian local government association, in April 2018, to set a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste.

Price congratulated APCO, Woolworths and the initial working group of key business leaders including Coca-Cola Amatil, Goodman Fielder, Nestlé, Pact Group, Simplot and Unilever in tackling Australia’s waste challenges and supporting these targets.

To support the 2025 targets, members of the initial working group have also been joined by industry representatives and environmental groups including Aldi, Amcor, Australia Post, Tetra Pak and Goodman Fielder.

Woolworths quality and sustainability general manager, Alex Holt, said Woolworths was pleased to see such a wide range of industry players come together in support of such a worthy goal.

“Moving towards a circular economy won’t be easy, but we have the right mix of organisations on board to help make it a reality,” said Holt.

At the event, Minister Price officially launched the Australasian recycling label as an important tool for achieving the 2025 targets.

The new labelling system was developed by Planet Ark, PREP Design and APCO to help consumers better understand how to recycle packaging.

With more than 200 recycling labels currently being used in Australian packaging, the new evidence-based system is designed to combat confusion about recycling and reduce the levels of contamination in the waste stream.

Price said the recycling label provides people with easy to understand recycling information when they need it most, in those few seconds when they are deciding what bin the package goes in.

“The label removes confusion and reduces waste,” she said.

To date more than 50 Australian businesses have committed to the program.

Nestlé’s Oceania head of corporate and external relations, Margaret Stuart, said people who buy Nestlé products are increasingly wanting to know how to manage packing waste.

APCO was charged by the Australian government to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

APCO is committed to reducing the environmental impact of packaging on Australian communities by moving towards a circular economy.

 

Detmold Group recognised for sustainable packaging excellence at APCO awards

The Detmold Group was recognised with an award from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) for Sustainable Packaging Excellence.

The South Australian family owned business also took out APCO’s Manufacturer Sustainability Award for the second year in a row.

Detmold Group general manager of marketing and innovation, Tom Lunn, said the award was testament to the group’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

“To win the Sustainable Packaging Excellence award is a wonderful acknowledgement,” said Lunn.

READ: Australian Packaging awards bring industries together for common purpose

“This award is open to all APCO members, around 1,100 organisations, representing Australia’s largest retail brands, packaging companies, logistics and other supply chain partners,” he said.

“The group is proud to be the first packaging company to win this award. It is great to have our successful collaboration and partnership initiatives across our supply chain recognised in this way,” said Lunn.

“This has culminated in our RecycleMe program, which is a great example of how industry can apply innovation to solve difficult problems, like diverting takeaway cups from landfill.

“Our ongoing recognition from APCO is the result of providing our customers with products capturing the latest in sustainability initiatives and providing clarity so our customers can be confident in what they need to achieve, and how to get there practically and competitively,” he said.

“This is the second year that we’ve won the sustainability award within the packaging manufacturers category, and we’re pleased also to be celebrating five consecutive years of recognition in the ‘high performer’ category,” said Lunn.

Campbell Arnott’s Australia won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Packaging Design and the top award for the Food and Beverage sector.

Campbell Arnott’s director of packaging Liza Vernalls said the award demonstrated the company’s commitment to packaging sustainability.

“It has been a great achievement from our packaging team, with full support from our leadership and manufacturing teams, together with the strong partnerships with our suppliers giving us such great results in a short period of time,” said Vernalls.

Other finalist organisations in the food sector included Nestlé Australia, Smith’s Snackfood and Sakata Rice Snacks Australia, Mountain Bread, and Fonterra Brands.

 

Australian Packaging awards bring industries together for common purpose

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) awards bought companies of all industries together in Sydney on the 29th of August. 

From telecommunications, to food and beverage, to the machinery and hardware sector, all industries come together for one common purpose – to meet the target of making packaging 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. 

The day began with two workshops – one on a sustainable packaging guidelines review and one on consumer education and behaviour change. 

Companies had the chance to discuss how to achieve the 2025 goal, sharing ideas on what prices they had already implemented and what could be improved. 

READ: Australian Institute of Packaging to introduce sustainable packaging design course

At the workshopping event, APCO chief executive officer Brooke Donnelly said Australia was undergoing a sustainable packaging review as there hadn’t been one since 2011 and it needed to be updated. 

“What we are trying to achieve is better material choices and better design,” said Donnelly. 

Part of that achievement also included correct disposal of packaging and no packaging in landfill, she said. 

At the awards evening, Demold packaging won the top award – Sustainable Packaging Excellence.

Detmold Packaging manufacturers paper and board packaging products for the FMCG and industrial markets.

As part of the privately owned Detmold Group, founded in 1948, Detmold Packaging has access to a worldwide network comprising seven factories and more than 20 sales offices throughout Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Middle East, America and Europe.

The food and beverage industry made its mark at the awards night, with Campbell Arnott’s Australia taking out a top award for Outstanding Achievement in Packaging Design. 

The company also won the award for the Food and Beverage sector. 

Campbell Arnott’s director of packaging Liza Vernalls said the award demonstrated the company’s commitment to packaging sustainability.

“It has been a great achievement from our packaging team, with full support from our leadership and manufacturing teams, together with the strong partnerships with our suppliers giving us such great results in a short period of time,” said Vernalls.

Other finalist organisations in the food sector included Nestlé Australia, Smith’s Snackfood and Sakata Rice Snacks Australia, Mountain Bread, and Fonterra Brands.

Donnelly praised the Australian brands for their commitment to reducing the harmful impacts of packaging on the environment.

“All the winners and finalists of the 2018 APCO Awards have demonstrated that no matter where their business sits within the packaging supply chain, there is always opportunity for positive change,” said Donnelly.

These companies were fantastic examples of sustainable leadership in the food and beverage sector, she said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with them in close partnership, in order to share the innovation, learning and insights required to build a circular economy here in Australia.”

Campbell Arnott’s demonstrated a commitment to operating more sustainably and in 2017, facilitated mandatory sustainability training with its internal packaging team.

The company also converted more than 1,400 tonnes of tertiary packaging from bleached white board to higher recycled content domestic brown board. Through this, Campbell Arnott’s was able to close the loop on paper and corrugated board recycling.

Arnott’s is one of the largest food companies in the Asia Pacific region. Its ongoing growth has been supported by the Campbell Soup Company’s investment in the business.

More than 50,000 Australians have worked with Arnott’s during the past century. Today, Arnott’s employs about 2,400 Australians across the country. 

It also employs thousands of people across the Asia Pacific region, in countries such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

The other winners for outstanding achievements were CHEP Australia for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainable Packaging Operations, and Australian Postal Organisation for Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership. 

Other winners were: 

ACCO Brands Australia – Homewares Sector 

Amgen Australia – Pharmaceutical Sector 

Detmold Packaging – Packaging Manufacturer 

Redback Boots – Clothing, Footwear and Fashion 

Kyocera Document Solutions – Electronics Sector 

LyondellBasel Australia – Chemicals and Agriculture 

Qantas Airways – Airline Sector 

SingTel Optus – Telecommunications 

Telstra Corporation – Telecomunications 

Super Retail Group – Large Retailer Sector 

Tasman Sinkware – Machinery and Hardware 

Integria Healthcare – Personal Care 

CHEP Australia – Logistics Sector

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