APCO Launches New Guidelines to Improve Sustainable Food Service Packaging

Subject: Packaging Manufacturing
31 October 2019

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has today launched the Food Services Packaging Sustainability Guidelines, a new resource to help Australian food service businesses to achieve the best sustainability outcomes for their packaging. The guidelines were launched on Thursday at the Australian Waste and Recycling Expo at the Sydney International Convention Centre, during an industry panel discussion.

APCO developed the guidelines in close consultation with government, the food services industry, waste handlers, composters and recyclers, academics and community groups. Designed through the lens of the waste hierarchy and utilising a circular economic approach, the resource will provide organisations with a framework for reviewing and implementing more sustainable food service packaging options, incorporating considerations such as materials and recyclability, waste capture and handling and alternative delivery models. 

The report also includes case studies from Qantas, GPT Group, Hobart City Council and Boomerang Alliance, providing real-world implementation examples, evaluating barriers to implementation and offering practical guidance on overcoming challenges. 

Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, commented: “Food service businesses are facing unprecedented pressure and confusion, as they navigate not only the growing consumer backlash against problematic and single-use plastics, but also a rapidly changing marketplace that’s inundated with new materials and disruptive models.

“We are delighted to be launching this new resource which will support those businesses that are considering more sustainable packaging, but don’t know where to start.

The Guidelines were launched during the “Australia’s Best Practice Food Service Packaging Guidelines” panel discussion on the Food Waste Stage, a key focus on this year’s AWRE Expo. The session was chaired by APCO Sustainability Manager Jayne Paramor, who was joined by panelists Barry Cosier – Australian Food & Grocery Council, Richard Fine – Biopak, Tom Lunn – Detmold Group and Belinda Chellingworth – GPT Group.

“Sustainable packaging plays an important role in reducing food waste. We are pleased to be presenting a guide that will support a reduction in food waste going to landfill through more sustainable service ware choices,” Brooke added.

The Food Services Packaging Sustainability Guidelines are available to download here: