Frequently Asked Questions
Most Common Questions
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. APCO works with governments, businesses and other organisations from across Australia’s large and complex packaging value chain to develop the insights, resources and programs that are needed to build a sustainable national packaging ecosystem. Our vision is a packaging value chain that collaborates to keep packaging materials out of landfill and retains the maximum value of the materials, energy and labour within the local economy. To find out more, click here.
The Australian Packaging Covenant (the Covenant) is a national regulatory framework under the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM) that sets out how governments and businesses across Australia share the responsibility for managing the environmental impacts of packaging. The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is the entity in charge of managing and administering the Covenant. To find out more, click here.
PREP is an online tool that allows packaging manufactures and brand owners to assesses how their packaging will perform in the Australian and New Zealand resource recovery systems.
When it comes to packaging, even the smallest details can have an impact on recyclability, including the packaging shape, size, weight, inks, adhesives and the materials used.
For every item of packaging, PREP considers all of these factors, as well as the availability of collection services, how the packaging will behave in a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and in subsequent processing facilities, such as paper mills and aluminium smelters.
By aggregating this information into a simple online platform, PREP empowers businesses to understand whether their packaging is recyclable, non-recyclable, or conditionally recyclable – provided consumers follow the set instructions in the corresponding ARL on-pack. The ARL is generated using the evidence supplied by PREP. Only once a business has conducted a PREP assessment can the ARL be used on-pack.
The PREP process provides a verified and transparent education loop between the design and the end-of-life of packaging in the Australian and New Zealand kerbside recycling systems. Click here to find out more.
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is an on-pack label that helps consumers in Australia and New Zealand correctly recycle their packaging.
Packaging can be made up of a range of different components and materials, and many of these require different disposal methods. Some belong in the bin, some can be recycled, while others require special instructions to be recycled correctly.
The ARL provides all of this information in one easy evidence based label so consumers can feel confident that they are disposing their packaging correctly.
To find out more about the ARL and the ARL Program, click here.
Yes. The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program is exclusively available to Members of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). This means that both the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) and ARL can only be used by compliant APCO Members.
To learn more about APCO Membership, visit our Membership Options page.
Yes. The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program is exclusive to Members of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). This means that both the ARL and the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) can only be used by compliant APCO Members.
To learn more about which APCO Memberships provide access to the ARL, visit our Membership Options page.
The 2025 National Packaging Targets provide a framework for collective, national action on waste management, recycling and resource recovery for our product packaging. They are:
- 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.
- 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted.
- 50% of average recycled content included in packaging.
- The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging.
The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) are a comprehensive, publicly available resource used to assist in the sustainable design and manufacture of packaging in Australia and are a central part of APCO’s co-regulatory framework. The purpose of the SPGs is to assist Australian organisations in integrating ten key Sustainable Packaging Principles into their operations. To find out more about the SPGs, click here.