Fifth AIP Virtual Training Course: How to Implement the New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

Bookings are now open for the fifth Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course ‘How to implement the New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPG’s) into your business’ which will be held on 1 September 2020. This training course has been developed in collaboration with APCO and all participants will attain 12.5 Certified Professional Development points towards the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) Designation.

The course trainer will be Ralph Moyle FAIP, CPP, Education Director, Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and is open to anyone to attend from anywhere in the world.

Overview of the course:
The ‘Implementing the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines Within Your Business’ Training course will enable companies to deep-dive into how to implement Sustainable Packaging Design into your existing and new packaging development processes to ensure that the business is reducing the environmental footprint of all packaging where possible, and at the same time meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) have been established to assist the design and manufacture of packaging that meets the sometimes conflicting demands of the market, consumer protection and the environment. Sustainable Packaging ultimately ensures that the design provides the lowest possible environmental impact compared to existing or conventional packaging. Sometimes achieving the lowest possible environmental impact can be challenging, particularly when balancing various environmental criteria with other functional and commercial considerations.

Course objectives:
The training course will work through the 10 Sustainable Packaging Principles that have been developed with the highest priority principles being those that support the achievement of the four targets, i.e. design for recovery, design for efficiency, using recycled materials and design to minimise litter. During the course the 9 Packaging Smart Material Guides will be discussed which have been developed to work in collaboration with the SPG’s. Attendees will be asked to select in advance which materials are their design priorities or challenges so that the course is tailored to all attendees.

Through homework exercises and interactive components of the course attendees will learn to successfully integrate these principles within their business through design and procurement practices to achieve the optimal outcomes for packaging functionality, and to collectively work to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

From attending this course attendees will learn:

  • The steps to implement SPG’s in your business
  • Review the 10 guiding principles
  • Understand how the SPG’s link work with the 2025 National Packaging Targets
  • Review Existing Packaging
  • How to apply and implement the Sustainable Packaging Principles that underpin design
  • Understand how to use the SPG’s in conjunction with PREP to make the best selection for your products and packaging.
  • Be able to compare and understand different packaging materials
  • Track and Report Progress
  • Data collection and storage reviews
  • Mapping Document
  • How to develop a SPG Checklist


This course is ideally suited to packaging technologists, industrial designers, marketers, agencies, graphic designers, sustainability and environmental managers, procurement and anyone that is responsible for the 2025 National Packaging Targets, Sustainability Strategies and Plans, APCO reporting, PREP and Australasian Recycling Label programs within the business.

Countdown to 100 per cent sustainability in packaging for Australian manufacturers

As consumers become more aware of their actions sustainable packaging is no longer an option but an expectation, and the law. Find out how you could be impacted.

Sustainability has been a hot topic over recent years as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their actions are affecting the environment. Packaging is one of the largest wastes we as Australians produce, and it’s something most don’t think twice about. The ABC’s series War on Waste revealed every year the waste Australians generate is growing at twice the rate of our population.[1]

However, the tides are changing, and sustainable packaging is making its mark as the way of the future. It’s no longer simply trendy to have sustainable packaging but is an expectation from the consumer. Consumers have long had a degree of influence over decisions made by brands, however the sustainability movement extends far beyond this transactional relationship.

To combat Australia’s waste epidemic, Australia’s Environment Ministers in partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) have announced the plan to make 100% of packaging in Australia reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.[2]

In September 2018, the federal government also launched the Australasian Recycling Label in a bid to help consumers recycle properly. This label breaks down the components of a product’s packaging (e.g. the box, any internal trays, and plastic wrapping), indicating how recyclable the components are and eliminating any confusion the consumer may have around correctly recycling the packaging.

With the push from both consumer and government bodies, manufacturers are gradually complying with this reform, not only to stay competitive but from a legal perspective as well. However, seeing that the packaging still needs to be fit for purpose and with limited options currently available, companies are having to get creative about how they’re packaging their products through sustainable means.

That said, it’s not enough to just consider the waste created by the end user. Manufacturers need to be thinking about the waste created throughout production as well. This could include anything from the polypropylene strapping used to bundle the boxes to the label liner removed from both the product and shipping labels.

Our partner Avery Dennison in affiliation with Wasteflex are leading an initiative in label liner recycling with the Australian Glassine Liner Recycling Program. This program has been developed to provide a solution for the recycling of pressure-sensitive glassine liner waste that would otherwise go into landfill. Still in its infancy, this program is a preview as to what’s possible for the future of sustainability and a program insignia is actively supporting.

Many other initiatives are being developed in the prospect of a more sustainable future, and with the deadline approaching, companies that haven’t already implemented sustainable packaging need to planning for the future now.



Businesses learn about sustainable packaging that minimises food waste

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) lead training and education programs as a part of FoodTech Packtech, which was held in Auckland last week.

Over the three days, in September, AIP provided discussions on key issues that are challenging the food and beverage industries.

Discussions included fighting food waste, save food and sustainable packaging designs, the issues within end-of-life recycling facilities and a better understanding of lifecycle analysis.

AIP had a full house for the new half-day training course on the role of packaging in minimising food waste with attendees including staff from Frucor, Fonterra, Danone, and  Multivac.

READ: AIP will run food waste and packaging seminars at FoodTech PackTech

The course provided participants with an introduction to the seriousness of food waste in Australia and New Zealand and how we can all make a difference as team members of the product-packaging design process to this issue.

It also covered packaging design criteria for best-practice save food packaging design developments that should be considered.

Key takeaways from the attendees included a new focus on what a business needs to do to improve its packaging design.

Businesses gained a better understanding of the true benefits that packaging plays in minimising food waste and a better awareness that packaging does have a role to play in relation to food loss.

Key takeaways from the attendees of the fighting food waste, save food and sustainable packaging design seminar included gaining a better view of the current issues in sustainable packaging design.

One attendee said that once packaging is designed, businesses need to start looking at the next step in improvements as the journey never ends.

AIP had a joint stand with Packaging New Zealand that showcased all the 2018 Packaging Innovation and Design Award winners for both Australia and New Zealand and the WorldStar Packaging Awards.

The Australian Institute of Packaging will be a partner of the next FoodTech PackTech event in 2020.

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.


PepsiCO, partners with companies, including Nestlé Waters, to develop bio-based bottles

The NaturALL Bottle Alliance is a research consortium formed in 2017 by Danone, Nestlé Waters and bio-based materials development company Origin Materials to accelerate the development of innovative packaging solutions made with 100 per cent sustainable and renewable resources.

PepsiCo has joined the alliance to advance the shared goal of creating beverage containers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

The Alliance also provides a progress report in its goal of developing and launching a PET1 plastic bottle made from bio-based material.

Launched in March 2017, the alliance uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption.

READ: Danny Celoni appointed CEO of PepsiCo ANZ

The technology being explored by the alliance represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the Alliance aims to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry.

PepsiCo vice chairman and chief scientific officer Mehmood Khan said creating more sustainable packaging requires innovation through the value chain.

“Producing PET from sustainable bio-based sources that do not diminish food resources and are fully recyclable is a great example of such innovation and an important contributor to PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging program,” said Khan.

“Through our Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo is committed to reducing the carbon impact of packaging in line with our goal to reduce absolute emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2030.

“Bio-based PET has the potential to reduce significantly the carbon footprint of our PET bottles, a huge contribution to our efforts in this area,” said Khan.

Origin Materials CEO John Bissell said PepsiCo is a welcome addition to the alliance because the the companies all share the goal of making renewable plastic a reality.

“Through the combined efforts of its members, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance is setting the bar for sustainability for an entire industry,” said Bissell.

1PET – Polyethylene terephthalate is the most common plastic in polyester family and is used in fibers for clothing, containers for liquids and foods, thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with glass fiber for engineering resins.

PET is also known as having one the most developed collection and recycling systems in the world, making it a key asset for the circular economy of plastics.

Nestlé Waters’ head of research and development, Massimo Casella, said the alliance has taken an important step in working together to tackle the challenges around plastic packaging.

“Developing 100 per cent bio-based PET is one way Nestlé is working to use more materials from sustainably managed renewable resources,” said Casella.

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