APCO Releases July Sustainability Webinar Topics and Plastic Free July Resource Toolkit

Subject: Recoverability, 2025 Targets
1 July 2020

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation has today released the July schedule for its successful Weekly Community Webinar series. Launched at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, the webinar series has been designed to keep the sustainable packaging community connected and engaged - and has so far attracted more than 2,200 participants.

Topics for discussion in July will include a data deep dive into packaging material flows in Australia, a designer’s guide to the circular economy and sustainable packaging, an introduction to Life Cycle Assessments methodologies, and a look at the rise of sustainable investment in Australia. APCO will also be hosting a session exploring how a behaviour science approach can help to deliver better environmental outcomes around plastic.

Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO, commented: “These webinars are a weekly forum to reconnect, learn and debate the issues that our community cares most about. It’s fantastic to see that, even during such unusual circumstances, the APCO community is keen to continue growing their collective understanding of the circular economy and sustainable packaging best practice. We look forward to seeing even more of you in July”.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Plastic Free July, APCO has developed a resource toolkit to showcase positive action being taken on plastic packaging. The kit contains the latest plastic packaging statistics and 15 case studies showcasing organisations that are championing issues like single-use plastic avoidance and phase out, reusable packaging, community education and recycled content. Organisations highlighted include Responsible Cafes, Cove by Natures Organics, CHEP Australia, Loop, REDcycle, Plastic Police, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, THE ICONIC, Plastic Free Communities, Take 3 For the Sea and Operation Clean Sweep. A range of APCO-led initiatives are also highlighted, including the ANZPAC program, the Australasian Recycling Label Program and FY21 Priority Projects addressing plastic packaging.  

Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO, commented: “APCO is committed to developing a better approach to plastic packaging in Australia. We recognise that plastic packaging plays an important role in reducing food waste, managing hazardous goods and protecting life-saving medicine. However, plastic packaging is primarily made from finite resources and the way we manage it at end-of-life has poor environmental outcomes on land and in our oceans - which must be remedied.

“Plastic Free July is the perfect opportunity to focus on positive solutions to the plastic packaging challenge. We have developed our new Plastic Free July toolkit to recognise some of the good work and innovation already being delivered – and highlight a range of tangible ways that consumers, businesses and governments can drive practical action in their own community”.

Webinar schedules will be released monthly on the APCO website: www.packagingcovenant.org.au/events. The schedule of webinars for July, including links to register, is available below

The APCO Plastic Free July toolkit is available to download here:


When: 1st July, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Topic: Data deep dive: Packaging material flows in Australia

Benchmarking research and data collection are essential components of APCO’s work. This week we are taking a deep dive into the key findings and statistics that have informed our strategic approach to delivering the 2025 National Packaging Targets and building a circular economy for packaging in Australia.

Presented by Dr Helen Lewis (Helen Lewis Research) and APCO’s Program Manager Lily Barnett, topics for discussion include:

  • The importance of data collection.
  • Findings from the Australian Packaging Consumption & Resource Recovery Data report released last year
  • Detail on how data from this report informed the development of Our Packaging Future and updated recycled content targets.
  • An overview of new data being collected through this year’s consumption and resource recovery project and how findings will support other APCO FY21 Priority Projects.


When: 8th July, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Topic: A designer’s guide to the circular economy and sustainable packaging

This week we are exploring two important streams of packaging design – the creative and the technical – and asking how professionals in both fields can work together more closely to deliver better sustainability outcomes.

Topics for discussion include:

  • The role of creatives and designers in the circular economy.
  • The scope of packaging design processes and the ways different professionals can influence sustainability outcomes.
  • Insights into the challenges and opportunities creative and technical teams face during packaging design.
  • Powerful opportunities for sustainability when both teams work more closely together.
  • Best practice case studies for beautiful, functional and sustainable packaging design.


  • Pippa Corry, Founder and Director of Philo and Co
  • Ralph Moyle FAIP CPP, Education Coordinator, Australian Institute of Packaging

When: 15th July, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Heading: An introduction to Life Cycle Assessments for packaging.

This week, to coincide with the launch of our new Member resource, Understanding Life Cycle Assessments for Packaging in Australia, we are exploring Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and how it works in partnership with other packaging sustainability tools, including PREP and the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs).  

LCA provides a practical and popular methodology for businesses to better understand the sustainability of their products and packaging. It offers reliable data on the whole of life impacts of products and packaging, and can empower business to make informed, evidence-based decision and claims.

When used alongside other packaging sustainability tools as part of a holistic approach to packaging sustainability, LCA can help to pinpoint the best approach to addressing the environmental trade-offs that may exist between packaging choices.

 Topics for discussion include:

  • The process, benefits and challenges of using an LCA for your organisation.
  • How LCA can be used in conjunction with other APCO resources, including the Packaging Recycling Evaluation Portal (PREP) and the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs).
  • Practical case studies and introduction to resources that will help get you started on the journey.

Speakers TBC.

 When: 22nd July, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Heading: An introduction to sustainable investment

This week we are exploring the rapid rise of sustainable investing and asking what it means for Australian businesses.

Topics for discussion include:

  • How businesses are responding to growing consumer and investor demand for ethical and sustainable portfolio options
  • What will ESG investment look like in the Post COVID-19 recovery context
  • How sustainability can impact your company’s investment opportunities

Speakers TBC.

When: 29th July, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Heading: Plastic Free July special: building a better approach to plastic with behavioural science.

As the 10th anniversary of Plastic Free July comes to a close, we are exploring how behaviour science insights could help us deliver better environmental outcomes around plastic.

Topics for discussion include:

  • An introduction to behavioural insights and its relationship with waste and recycling. 
  • How an understanding of behavioural insights can shape approaches to sustainability policy, communications and education.
  • The critical behavioural barriers, challenges and opportunities we need to address around plastic.

Speakers TBC

If you're interested in catching up on the webinars delivered to date, all sessions are recorded and available online at www.packagingcovenant.org.au