Empowering Australian Businesses to Meet their Sustainable Packaging Obligations

Subject: Compliance
25 June 2018

A Brand Audit conducted by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation will this week provide businesses with decisive actions to meet their sustainable packaging obligations.

Several thousand Australian businesses will this week be notified about their need to comply with the sustainable packaging obligations outlined in the National Environmental Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM).

The sustainability Brand Audit is being conducted by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the agency charged by government to meet the target of making packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The target was announced by Australia’s Environment Ministers in April 2018, and APCO is currently developing a national roadmap for how Australia can deliver on it. The current Brand Audit is one of APCO’s core initiatives designed to ensure businesses of all sizes are meeting their sustainable packaging obligations and working collaboratively to meet the 2025 target.

The Audit will incorporate businesses from a wide range of sectors, including Food and Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Printing and Toy and Sporting Goods wholesale. Businesses liable under the NEPM include any organisation with an annual turnover of $5 million or more, that is either in the supply chain of consumer packaging (e.g. an importer, supplier of raw material, manufacturer or wholesaler) or a retailer that is a manufacturer, wholesaler or importer, or offers its branded products to consumers.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation commented: “Reaching the landmark target set by Environment Ministers will require a complete transformation of the way our society thinks about packaging - recognising it as a valuable resource and not just waste that is destined for landfill. We know we can do it, but we can’t do it alone. Businesses play a crucial role in making this target a reality.

“There are a number of basic packaging requirements that all Australian businesses are required to meet – and these are outlined in the National Environmental Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM). One of our responsibilities is to notify the businesses who aren’t meeting these basic obligations and provide them with the tools, resources and pathways to track and improve their packaging sustainability.”

Additionally, APCO will next week begin a two-month consultation process with APCO Members and key stakeholders to better understand what industry requires to bring the target to life. The consultation will include a review of other proposed targets, and the role and function of the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) and other APCO tools in supporting the 2025 target.

In July APCO will be hosting Q&A sessions in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne to provide business owners an opportunity to ask questions about the 2025 target. For more information visit: www.packagingcovenant.org.au