Australia's 2025 National Packaging Targets
The 2025 National Packaging Targets (the 2025 Targets) are supported by Australian industry and government to deliver a new and sustainable approach to packaging. They apply to all packaging that is made, used, and sold in Australia. APCO is the organisation charged by government to facilitate the delivery of the 2025 Targets (aiming to be achieved by 31 December 2025).
The 2025 Targets are:
- 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.
- 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted.
- 50% of average recycled content included in packaging (revised from 30% in 2020).
- The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging.
First established in 2018, the 2025 Targets require a complete and systemic change to the way Australia creates, collects, and recovers product packaging, and are an important step on Australia’s journey towards a circular economy for packaging. They were developed following extensive industry and government consultation and are in line with the ambitious sustainable packaging initiatives being delivered globally.
The 2025 Targets are supported by the Federal and all Australian State and Territory Governments and were included in the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan and the 2021 National Plastics Plan. Several states and territories have passed or are developing legislation that will ban some of the problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging items identified by APCO for phase-out. These include EPS food and beverage service items and fragmentable plastics.
How Australia is tracking towards 2025
Each year APCO collects benchmark data to assess Australia’s progress towards the 2025 Targets. This data is presented through our annual Consumption & Recycling Data reports, which can be found here.
Figure 1: Progress towards the 2025 Targets as of 2019-20.
Who is responsible for delivering the 2025 Targets?
There is no silver bullet for solving Australia’s waste and recycling challenges. Everyone has a role to play, and collaboration will be critical for bringing the 2025 Targets to life. APCO’s approach to delivering change – utilising the Collective Impact Framework – is bringing the whole packaging ecosystem, including brand owners, industry, government, community groups and academia, along on the journey.
Published in March 2020, Our Packaging Future is the roadmap detailing how Australia’s packaging value chain can work together to successfully deliver the 2025 Targets.
Our Packaging Future combines data and insights from more than 200 authors and contributors, to identify the current critical challenges in Australia’s resource recovery landscape. It then maps the strategies required to move away from our current ‘take, make and waste’ approach to managing packaging.
The 2025 Monitoring Program is designed to provide insight and a structured framework to regularly measure progress towards the 2025 Targets. It also provides the ability for key stakeholders to identify when progress within the system is not occurring at a pace significant enough to drive the desired outcomes and therefore achievement of the milestones.
Launched in November 2021, the Collective Impact Report is a critical analysis of Australia’s current progress towards the 2025 Targets and an exploration of the need for alternative interventions to support the transition to a circular economy for packaging in Australia.
Steps to support the 2025 Targets
Some practical steps stakeholders can take to deliver the 2025 Targets include:
- Stay informed: register for the APCO Unpacked newsletter (at the bottom of this webpage).
- Download Our Packaging Future: learn what role you can play in delivering the 2025 Targets.
- Join the APCO Membership community: APCO Members have access to resources and tools to help them at every step of improving their packaging sustainability and meeting the 2025 Targets.
- Implement the SPGs and the 10 Sustainable Packaging Principles into your packaging operations.
- Take part in the ANZPAC Plastics Pact and take tangible action on plastic.
- Join an APCO Working Group. Get involved in an APCO sectoral project or ask your industry association how it is supporting the 2025 Targets.
- Mobilise upper management and staff: every business has a role to play in achieving the 2025 Targets, from training and education to involvement in pilot projects.
- Supply chain engagement: ask your suppliers what action they are taking to deliver the 2025 Targets. Encourage government and others in your supply chain to purchase recycled content items.
- Join the ARL Program and use APCO’s National Consumer Education Campaign resources and messaging to ensure your organisation has a consistent and accurate approach to sustainable packaging communications.
- Look for the ARL on products and follow the instructions to recycle correctly. Support those brands with your purchasing power at the cash register.
- Return soft plastics to your local REDcycle bin.
- Ask your favourite brands what they are doing to deliver the 2025 Targets and improve their packaging sustainability.
- Support brands using recycled content and providing packaging that can be recycled or reused.
- Check out the Planet Ark website for more information on improving your sustainable lifestyle.
- Support the ARL Program: use this resource kit to share information, or find out more about booking a briefing on upcoming program activity.
- Find out more about how to use recycled content in your infrastructure projects.
- Support and recognise businesses in your area that are signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant and are taking action on the 2025 Targets. Encourage other businesses to join APCO to get started.
- Provides grants to organisations that use, produce or recycle packaging to support them to reduce packaging waste.
For APCO Members:
Find resources to support Members achieve each of the 2025 Targets via the links to the Target webpages below.
Find out more about each of the 2025 Targets
Click on the links below to find out more about each of the 2025 Targets including actions APCO is taking to support work towards 2025, resources to support Members and steps for other stakeholders such as consumers and government to support the transition to 2025.