Developments in research: Clean Australia CRC proposal

Subject: 2025 Targets
21 October 2020

APCO works with universities to support research which will contribute to the 2025 National Packaging Targets. One such university, Victoria University (VU), is seeking industry partners to deliver collaborative projects which meet the needs of industry. VU is working on a bid to establish the Clean Australia Collaborative Research Centre (CRC), which will include projects on packaging sustainability. The stage 1 application has been submitted, and the partners are preparing a draft submission for stage 2, which is due for completion in January 2021. 

The stage 2 application will include specific research projects in collaboration with industry partners. With packaging a major focus for VU’s involvement in the CRC proposal, VU is keen to engage with APCO Members and partners to ensure the projects target the most critical challenges and opportunities. 

VU first established its packaging research capability 31 years ago, and since then has developed expertise across a broad range of specialist areas, including:   

  • distribution and packaging dynamics
  • packaging material characterisation
  • protective packaging materials
  • polymer chemistry
  • analytical chemistry
  • active food packaging (modified atmosphere, antimicrobials)
  • biodegradable polymers.

Alongside the CRC proposal, VU is also looking to further develop its packaging laboratory facilities through the establishment of a Packaging Compliance Laboratory. The focus of current research at VU includes:

  • Reducing the amount of packaging material used by controlling the level of hazards during product distribution.
  • Creating effective and environmentally-sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based polymers for packaging applications.
  • Developing cost-effective accelerated anaerobic digestion to convert non-recyclable or contaminated packaging waste into useful substances.
  • Minimising food waste by developing active packaging systems to increase product shelf life.
  • Facilitating the transition to a circular economy by identifying systemic innovation approaches.
  • Undertaking environmental economic analyses of sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based polymers and how these impacts differ in low and high income countries.

More information on VU’s capabilities on packaging can be found here. At this stage VU is seeking industry partners to define collaborative research and development projects that meet the needs of APCO’s Members and partners.  

If you are interested to explore opportunities to be involved in the CRC proposal or to take advantage of VU’s expertise and facilities, we encourage you to contact VU. The contact at VU is Vincent Rouillard, who can be contacted at