APCO Annual Awards

2021 APCO Annual Awards.

The annual APCO Awards ceremony celebrates Australian organisations leading the way in sustainable packaging design and innovation. The APCO Annual Awards ceremony showcases Australian industry’s commitment to delivering the 2025 National Packaging Targets and building a circular economy approach to packaging in Australia. Join us to recognise APCO Members’ achievements over the past year, including awards by industry sector, the outstanding achievement awards, the APCO Sustainability Champion, and more!


Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s APCO Annual Awards and a huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists.


The winners of the 2021 APCO Annual Awards are:

  • Sustainable Packaging Excellence Award – Kellogg Australia
  • Sustainability Champion Award – Richard Fine, BioPak
    • Since founding BioPak in 2006, Richard has been a true champion of compostable packaging. A leading proponent of the need for compostable packaging to be collected with food waste and a driving force behind progress towards both the National Packaging Targets and the National Food Waste Strategy Targets, Richard is at the forefront of the industry. In recent years, Richard has led the establishment of an organic waste collection service, enabling BioPak customers to divert organic waste and compostable packaging from landfill.
  • Our Packaging Future Award for end-market leadership – Nestlé Australia
    • The 30% recycled content KitKat wrapper was an Australian first to demonstrate the potential for advanced recycling in Australia with Australian post-consumer soft plastics. A coalition of companies in the Australian value chain brought their individual expertise together to process some of the collected waste soft plastic, convert it to oil, and produce Australia’s first soft plastic food wrapper made with recycled content: the KitKat prototype wrapper.
  • Our Packaging Future Award for Improved Collection and Recycling Systems – BioPak
    • BioPak’s Compost Connect provides the foodservice industry access to products, services, and information to participate in a circular and regenerative system by recovering and recycling food waste and certified compostable packaging. Structured as a collaborative, open, not-for-profit organisation, Compost Connect allows businesses to identify suppliers of certified compostable packaging and connect to organic waste recovery and recycling service providers.
  • Our Packaging Future Award for Packaging Sustainability Education – Consumer Education – Nestlé Australia
    • The KitKat 'Give the Planet A Break' campaign was developed in response to consumer confusion about soft plastics and recycling. Many Australians still struggle with 'soft plastics', yet soft plastics make up the majority of confectionery bags and wrappers. The campaign aimed to disrupt the confusion and motivate people to make the right choice and recycle their KitKat wrappers (and other soft plastics) correctly. This campaign was brought to life through a KitKat Limited Edition 4 finger pack, which featured the universally recognised mobius loop symbol (made of KitKat fingers) replacing the iconic KitKat logo in stores over four weeks.
  • Our Packaging Future Award for Packaging Sustainability Education – Industry Education – Coles
    • Following an audit of packaging data, Coles established a project to gather detailed packaging information from Own Brand suppliers for assessment in PREP. Along with completing thousands of PREP reports, Coles contacted suppliers to provide detailed packaging information via an innovative online Survey. Through this approach, Coles focused attention on packaging recyclability and raised awareness of PREP. Innovative and detailed reporting dashboards have also helped identify areas to focus packaging education to support progress towards the 2025 Targets.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership – CHEP Australia
    • A Member since 2012 and an active participant in APCO working groups over the last two years, CHEP has continued to focus on its leadership positions in 2020 through the introduction of new 2025 sustainability targets and its commitment to Pioneer Regenerative Supply Chains. This focus has allowed CHEP to improve its circularity measurements and increase its already positive collaborations, including the uptake of the company’s ‘Share and Reuse’ circular packaging solutions.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sustainable Packaging Outcomes – Austcor
    • Following a regular in-house research and development program, Austcor has been able to successfully optimise all of its packaging by developing stronger boxes with light-weighted paper. With comprehensive procedures in place, Austcor ensures all packaging is reviewed against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and verified for recyclability through PREP. An APCO Member for seven years now, Austcor has demonstrated superb commitment to transitioning towards a circular economy, with 80% of its packaging now made with an average of 70% recycled content.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sustainable Packaging Operations – Beacon Lighting
    • Working closely with its suppliers, Beacon Lighting has ensured its distribution packaging is fully optimised, while also no longer using any outer packaging on products that are shipped to Australia from overseas suppliers. Returnable wooden pallets were also implemented for store deliveries and large commercial shipments.
  • High Performing New Member Award - Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co
    • Arcadian has a long-standing commitment to reducing its plastic by developing new packaging formats and ensuring the use of materials that align with its sustainable principles. 100% of packaging used is made from certified renewables or recycled materials and has been reviewed against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines. Arcadian has also joined the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program and partnered with REDcycle to improve the recovery of its packaging.

The winners across the twelve Industry Sector categories are:

  • Agriculture & Nurseries – Evergreen Garden Care Australia
    • Evergreen continues to identify opportunities for improved packaging outcomes and new technologies that push the boundaries of packaging material optimisation. During the most recent reporting round, Evergreen investigated several opportunities to incorporate recycled material into its plastic packaging with this new approach set to roll out over the coming months.
  • Airline, accommodation and tourism – Virgin Australia
    • As part of its 2020 product rollout, Virgin Australia has committed to eliminate packaging where feasible, while working towards making all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable in line with the 2025 Targets as well as increase the use of product packaging from 100% recycled content and/or 100% renewable materials, with impressive strides already made.
  • Chemicals, Hardware and Machinery – General Motors Australia
    • To fully encompass the journey to closed-loop distribution packaging, General Motors has identified key areas of concern through industry collaboration, including working with over 150 organisations to help monitor and collect data with the returnable metal cage scheme.
  • Electronics - Kyocera Document Solutions
    • Kyocera has continued to advance throughout its packaging sustainability journey, through its new ECOSYS concept which minimises environmental impact, and reduces costs associated with the extension of printer life and the reduction of associated waste. Kyocera has also continued to focus on its collection service, where bins and disposal units are provided to customers and picked up at no cost.
  • Food and Beverage – Kellogg Australia
    • The team at Kellogg have worked hard to optimise 99% of packaging for material efficiency by converting to a renewable packaging format, with a series of trials showing a 50% material savings across product packaging. Meanwhile, with an ongoing commitment to the application of the Australasian Recycling Label, more than 75% of the company’s total packaging is now labelled as recyclable through the Australian kerbside or REDcycle system.
  • General Merchandise and Apparel – 3M Australia
    • 3M Australia has stood out through the leadership and accountability of its purchasing policy. Where possible, 3M works collectively with other APCO Members to improve packaging sustainability.
  • Healthcare and Scientific – Amgen Australia
    • Amgen’s industry leading Green Packaging Metrics Tool ensures that the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines are strongly embedded in business processes. 100% of all new packaging is assessed according to the tool, while the company commenced work to replace PVC in packaging trays for several products during this reporting round.
  • Large Retailer – Coles
    • This reporting period, Coles continued its leadership role across closed-loop recovery programs by providing collection points for REDcycle and the container deposit scheme, while also introducing the Simply Cups recycling program at its Store Support Centres. This year Coles reached a milestone of diverting more than one billion pieces of flexible plastics from landfill since the beginning of the partnership in 2012.  
  • Logistics and Warehousing – CHEP Australia
    • Continuous efforts to increase environmental benefits throughout its customer’s supply chains saw CHEP introducing additional targets on sustainable packaging for improved circular measurement tools and positive collaborations. Through the company’s monthly reviews of its reusable packaging innovation processes, the team confirmed 100% of its packaging to be optimised for material efficiency, while using only recycled or certified renewable materials that are recoverable at end-of-life.
  • Packaging Manufacturers and Suppliers – Lyondell Basell
    • Last year’s Sustainable Packaging Excellence Award winner, this year LyondellBasell established reuse and collaborative closed-loop practices that are beyond best practice. It includes delivering the ‘KitKat closed-loop project’ in partnership with Nestle, iQ Renew and REDcycle, to create the first post-consumer KitKat wrapper.
  • Telecommunications – Optus
    • Committed to driving a circular economy for packaging, Optus introduced a single-use plastic phase out plan that prioritises opportunities to increase both recyclability and recycled content during this reporting period.
  • Tobacco – British American Tobacco
    • This reporting round, British American Tobacco has committed to ambitious targets closely aligned to the 2025 Targets, which focus on eliminating unnecessary single-use packaging, making 100% of packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and incorporating an average of 30% recycled content in packaging.

For more information on the winners and the finalists, take a look at the 2021 APCO Awards booklet here.