APCO Annual Awards

2022 APCO Annual Awards

APCO’s prestigious Annual Awards ceremony was held Thursday 10 November 2022 in Sydney.


The APCO Awards celebrate the achievements of the leaders in sustainable packaging – those organisations and individuals who embody the very best of what the industry in Australia has to offer as we all work towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets and the development of a true circular economy for sustainable packaging.


Excitingly, for the first time in three years, we were delighted to celebrate in person in Sydney! 


APCO Members’ celebrated their achievements over the past year, including prizes by industry sector, the self-nominated Our Packaging Future (OPF) Awards, the Outstanding Achievement Awards, the APCO Sustainability Champion, and more! This year we are also excited to announce a new category of award for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), following the introduction of the new SME Report, an abbreviated and streamlined APCO Annual Report for SME Brand Owner Members.


Meet our 2022 award winners

2022 Industry Sector Award Winners


·        Agriculture and Nurseries - Richgro Garden Products

A. Richards has been at the forefront of improving packaging sustainability in the agriculture and nurseries industry, with a strong commitment towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets and circular design. The company has set a target to achieve a 50% recycled content rate and has already worked hard to incorporate recycled content into a third of its packaging. With a long commitment to recoverability, A. Richards has continued its collaboration with REMONDIS through its on-site anaerobic digester, which turns organic waste into clean energy, amounting to approximately 71 tonnes this financial year.  


·        Chemicals, Hardware, and Machinery - Clorox Australia Pty Ltd

Clorox Australia has achieved sizeable material savings and format optimisation as a result of packaging reviews and audits. Having utilised PREP for all packaging to determine evidence-based kerbside recyclability, Clorox has enabled the majority of its packaging to be fully recoverable. Additionally, the refresh of labelling to include the ARL has been an important step to correctly informing consumers how to dispose of packaging. Despite manufacturing operations being conducted offshore and logistics handled by a third-party, Clorox has outperformed in sustainability and shown influence is achievable in global supply chains.


·        Electronics - Dell Australia Pty Ltd

Dell Australia has been a leader in sustainability strategies, as shown by its innovative 2030 packaging strategy which is part of three corporate goals to enhance the circular economy. These goals state that for every product a customer buys, Dell Australia will reuse or recycle an equivalent product, 100% of its packaging will be made from recycled or renewable material and more than half of its product content will be made from recycled or renewable material. Dell Australia has been at the forefront of driving new materials such as the Ocean Bound Plastics Program. This program promises to use at least 160,000 pounds of Ocean Bound Plastics by 2025, with 220,000 pounds utilised in 2021.  


·        Food & Beverage - The Arnott’s Group

At the Arnott’s Group, sustainability is at the forefront of its values and operational model. The company has an established sustainable packaging strategy that addresses the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, containing initiatives and targets across the entire packaging value chain, from design, production and use of packaging, through disposal and recovery, to promote the use of recycled material and the circular economy. Through this, The Arnott’s Group has successfully reduced the weight of its packaging, incorporating recycled content in PET bottles, and moved soft plastic packaging from multi-layer films to a 100% recyclable mono-layer film.


·        General Merchandise and Apparel - Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd

Blundstone Australia has engaged its suppliers with the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, focusing on optimising material efficiency. The company has been redesigning its packaging to be more sustainable while keeping the end-user in mind. A significant achievement for the company is the implementation of its latest Environment Friendly Procurement Policy, which favours the purchase of products and packaging that contain the highest percentage of recycled content. Currently, up to 98% of its baseline has at least some packaging that is made from recycled content. The company is also part of the ARL Program, and approximately 97% of its applicable packaging has the ARL displayed. 


·        Healthcare & Scientific - Emeis Cosmetics Pty Ltd

Emeis Cosmetics, more commonly known by the brand Aesop, has delivered a greater reuse model through Sustainable Packaging Guidelines reviews, by selling lotion bottles without the pumps and establishing refill trials. Aesop’s advanced data tracking and Packaging Roadmap has paved the way to higher packaging sustainability each year, with a high uptake of recycled content and participation in recovery schemes. Aesop’s market grew significantly as the demand for hygiene did, allowing the organisation to utilise the Sustainable Packaging Principles greatly and introduce light-weighted recycled PET; thus decreasing virgin plastic use by approximately 50%.


·        Large Retailer - Officeworks Ltd

Over the reporting period, Officeworks has continued to invest in optimising its packaging as a result of packaging reviews. This resulted in over 3.6 million unique pieces of packaging being eliminated in private label products during this time. The company’s strong packaging sustainability strategy and implementation of the ARL on-pack shows their commitment to evolving consumer behaviour when interacting with packaging. Additionally, Officeworks has achieved a phase-out of all polystyrene in private label packaging, making great strides towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets.


·        Logistics and Warehousing - CHEP AUSTRALIA LIMITED

CHEP Australia has successfully optimised and light-weighted their packaging as far as safety standards allow. The company has achieved full recoverability for over 99% of its packaging and plays a pivotal role in advancing Australia’s transition to a circular economy through a reuse model. CHEP has achieved 13% recycled content across all reusable plastic products and are investigating further applications. Furthermore, continued actions towards achieving higher packaging sustainability is a core focus for CHEP, as well as carbon-neutral operations to reduce CO2 emissions.


·        Packaging Manufacturer and Supplier - Disruptive Packaging Pty Ltd

Having a sustainability strategy aligned with the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and the 2025 National Packaging Targets, Disruptive Packaging has achieved internal goals with packaging and partners. Through regular packaging reviews, the company has achieved higher design efficiency and established closed-loop processes. Disruptive Packaging’s introduction of an innovative carton design, known as Uniqcor, boasts a high level of recycled content, full recoverability through Uniqcor's collection service, and aims to replace conventional carton formats.


·        Telecommunications - Telstra Corporation Limited

Following an extensive review of its environmental commitments and goals, Telstra has accomplished significant progress in its packaging sustainability journey. Through assessments of packaging against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, PREP and consumer behaviour, Telstra has innovated and invested in format redesign and material optimisations. One such product has achieved a 75% reduction in packaging materials and equates to 258,000 kilograms less circulating in the Australian market. Telstra continues to focus on reducing consumption and investing in circular solutions that align with the 2025 National Packaging Targets.


·        Tobacco - British American Tobacco Australia

British American Tobacco has implemented a tailored sustainability strategy aligned with APCO and the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The company has been regularly involved in the Tobacco Industry Product Stewardship Group and supports consumer education in line with the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act. The company has achieved significant material optimisations during the reporting period, as well as implementation of recycled content in secondary and tertiary packaging formats. British American Tobacco continues to push boundaries and improve packaging sustainability, despite legislative requirements.


2022 Highest Performing SME Industry Sector Award Winners


·        Agriculture and Nurseries - J C & A T Searle Pty Ltd

J C & A T Searle has a strong commitment towards continuous improvement and pursuing further opportunities to reduce packaging materials and incorporate recycled materials in its packaging formats. Through its partnership with REDcycle, all of its LDPE packaging can be recovered. The company has also taken great efforts in providing proper disposal information on pack for majority of its packaging formats. J C & A T Searle has also redesigned its packaging to shift from plastic tubs and lids to cardboard to take action in reducing their plastic litter impact. 


·        Chemicals, Hardware, and Machinery - WD-40 Company (Australia) Pty Limited

WD-40 Company shows great commitment towards packaging sustainability through packaging reviews against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines. This reporting period, the company has removed unnecessary plastic shrink film from its new promotion packaging. By conducting assessments through PREP, the company has also been able to get the ARL on-pack to properly inform its consumers of correct disposal at end-of-life. 


·        Electronics - COMSOL PTY LTD

Comsol has implemented its own in-house sustainability department, which has further led to the development of several reference documents to advise and enable sustainable packaging processes. Through extensive research and data analysis, Comsol pursued opportunities to include a higher level of recycled content in its packaging to supportwork towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The company has also been working closely with its suppliers to use soy and vegetable-based inks instead of inks produced from fossil fuel sources, to maximise the recyclability of its carboard packaging. 


·        Food & Beverage - Flavour Creations Pty Ltd

Flavour Creations has strong internal policies that act as guiding pathways for sustainable procurement and waste management. The company also displays the ARL on-pack to properly communicate disposal information to its consumers. This reporting period has also brought about a reduction in waste, as the company has redesigned its packaging foils to include information and cut down on paper inserts. Along with this, Flavour Creations has achieved a reduction in plastic scoops, as it has been removed from selected powdered products. 


·        General Merchandise and Apparel - Glow Consumer Products Pty. Ltd.

Glow Consumer Products has made great strides in its packaging sustainability journey by reviewing its packaging against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines using its very own ‘Glow’s Packaging Assessment Questionnaire’. Through this, the company has been able to work towards optimal recyclability of its packaging. Glow has also set tangible targets internally to ensure that all of its packaging can meet the 2025 Recycled Content Targets (by material type). This reporting period, Glow has dedicated R&D towards rPET product storage solutions as well as development of new ranges made from recycled and compostable material. 


·        Healthcare & Scientific - Thankyou Group Pty Ltd

Packaging sustainability is at the forefront of Thankyou Group’s Responsible Business Goals. The company has reviewed its packaging against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and have made remarkable discoveries by assessing its packaging through PREP. The company requires that its suppliers sign-off and adhere to the packaging and sourcing policies as outlined in its Responsible Business Goals handbook. Thankyou Group has also eliminated single-use plastic water bottles from its range to tackle the issue of unnecessary waste. 


·        Packaging Manufacturer and Supplier - O F Packaging Pty Ltd

O F Packaging has shown a strong commitment towards designing sustainable packaging for its partners and customers. A significant highlight in its reporting period was achieving a spout pouch packaging format that is made from recycled content and is reusable. These dispensers are made from plastic that had been pulled from oceans, beaches and landfill. Presently, O F Packaging offers up to 60% recycled content in flexible packaging predominantly for non-food grade applications.  


Outstanding Achievement Awards:


·        Outstanding Achievement Award in Recycled Content - Mars Australia Pty Ltd

Mars Australia has been a leader in the recycled content space through committing to and working towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The company has formed a collaboration with a plastics chemical recycling company, with an ambition of recovering the recycled plastic polymers for reuse into its non-food contact packaging. Mars Australia’s 2025 Global ambition/target for post-consumer recycled content is 30% across all formats, with 86% of paper packaging already coming from recycled sources.


·        Outstanding Achievement Award in Design & Procurement - Emeis Cosmetics Pty Ltd

Emeis Cosmetics (Aesop) had a strong year with regards to its packaging sustainability, particularly through design and procurement. Working methodically, the company reviewed 100% of its packaging against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) and identified numerous opportunities for material optimisation. Light-weighting formats and substitutions to recycled PET are already underway, with key projects over the next year set to implement these identified opportunities. Working closely with suppliers, partners and APCO, Aesop has undertaken efforts to execute improvements across all ten of the Sustainable Packaging Principles of the SPGs. 


Our Packaging Futures Awards:


·        Our Packaging Future Award in Industry Education - Bunzl Limited

Bunzl is a wholesale distributor of consumable goods. To support the 2025 National Packaging Targets, the SPGs, and customers’ sustainability ambitions, the company has engaged in an extensive sustainable packaging industry awareness raising program. This has gone beyond satisfying single-use plastic bans to proactively supporting customers to improve their knowledge and use of sustainable packaging to reduce waste. This includes publishing articles (Flair and Forte publications), fact sheets, web pages, internal training for sales teams, embedded Sustainability Ambassadors, specialised customer tools and on location reviews and expert advice.


·        Our Packaging Future Award in Consumer Education - Visy Industries Australia Pty Ltd

Visy developed the Re+ brand to help drive awareness and understanding of the benefits of using recycled content in packaging. The Re+ brand can be used on Visy packaging that contains recycled content and is an easy way for consumers to identify that the packaging contains recycled content. The campaign provided customers with information about the benefits of using recycled content in their packaging such as reduced reliance on raw materials, supporting a circular economy and reducing waste to landfill. The awareness campaign also helped to support customers make the move to increase their glass container colour specifications, which can be a limiting factor to the amount of recycled content in glass containers. Overall, the campaign was a success and helped drive recycled content increases across many packaging formats


·        Our Packaging Future Award in Improved Recycling Systems - Closed Loop Environmental Solutions

Closed Loop Environmental Solutions developed Simply Cups, a program that provides an end-to-end solution involving consumer education and collection infrastructure. This infrastructure provides a clean stream of paper cups and processing systems that transform the cups into a usable raw material for use by the company’s innovative technology/ manufacturing partners, who transform them into items of higher value and utility.


·        Our Packaging Future Award in End-Market Development - Grounded Packaging

Grounded Packaging developed a new packaging solution called RE:MONO which has set a new benchmark in recycled materials employed in flexible food-grade packaging. A high barrier mono-material, recyclable in waste stream #4 and soft plastics RE:MONO provides global food manufacturers a viable solution to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. RE:MONO was born from the idea to design an innovative packaging product that limits environmental impact, while still prioritising functionality, convenience, and food safety. To achieve this, Grounded Packaging have developed a postconsumer

recycled film laminate made from disposed plastic from recycling streams, such as milk bottles, and plastic bags.


Highest Performing New Member Awards:


·        Highest Performing New Member – Hilton Foods Australia

Through reviews of its packaging against the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, Hilton Foods Australia has been able to achieve optimised material efficiency for up to 95% of its packaging, with more than 90% of its packaging able to be fully recovered at end-of-life. The company has collaborated with major retailers, manufacturers, and regulators to develop standards to support kerbside waste collection and recycling systems. 


·        Highest Performing New Members (SME) - Australian Garlic producers Pty Ltd

Australian Garlic Producers have taken many important steps to progress its sustainability journey as a new APCO Member. The company has partnered with REDcycle and has transitioned from LDPE to PP tags on its wine glasses, so that they may be returned to store for recycling. Additionally, the company have been developing its packaging in line with the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and are taking steps to eliminate non-recyclable packaging formats. 


Sustainability Champion Award


·        Sarah Baylis (Fonterra Brands)

Sarah has worked in the Australasian packaging industry all of her career at both brand owners and packaging manufacturers and recyclers. In her current role as Packaging Innovation Manager at Fonterra Research and Development Centre, she leads the technical component of the Fonterra sustainable packaging target of 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging by 2025. She has an honours degree in packaging technology and uses her technical knowledge to practically realise sustainable packaging and sees industry collaboration as a key factor to its success. She has been leading the New Zealand ARL implementation programme for the NZFGC with APCO, ensuring that ARL recycling outcomes are fit for purpose and align with NZ waste recovery infrastructure. This involves collaborating across the waste value chain and providing representation of NZ on the AAC.


Sustainable Packaging Excellence Award


·        The Arnott's Group

The Arnott's Group has demonstrated ongoing and outstanding leadership in the industry, alongside a clear commitment to sustainable packaging operations, consistent innovation and circular packaging design. To win this award, a company must be a standout performer, internally and externally.


Previous award winners