APCO welcomes Environment Ministers announcement on sustainable packaging

Friday, 10 November 2023

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) strongly welcomes the announcements made at today’s Environment Ministers’ Meeting that set an ambitious new course for sustainable packaging in Australia.

Today’s announcement, which will have tangible and lasting impacts on the Australian packaging landscape, includes:

  • The Federal government will:
    • Become the regulator of new mandated packaging design standards.
    • Set minimum recycled content requirements.
    • Prohibit the use of harmful chemicals in packaging.
  • The endorsement of a national traceability framework for recycled materials.
  • The agreement of a framework to improve co-ordination across governments on product stewardship.

Chris Foley, APCO CEO, said: “APCO’s Members have made their voices heard loud and clear – regulatory certainty and consistency is fundamental to accelerating progress towards packaging sustainability targets. This announcement is deeply in line with what our Members have been calling for and is a vital step forward. It’s fantastic to see the Federal government stepping up to act as the regulator for new mandated packaging design standards.

“It’s not acceptable for any packaging to end up in landfill simply down to bad design choices and this important regulatory step will begin to end this practice once and for all.

“The decisive action taken by Environment Ministers on the introduction of minimum recycled content standards and a national traceability framework will not only drive the uptake of recycled content in packaging, but also create business confidence in the quality, safety and origin of the materials they are using.

“In addition, the phase out of PFAS in packaging is a huge priority for APCO, and we applaud the announcement of the prohibition of harmful chemicals in future packaging.

“As ever, a huge thank you has to go to our Members and all who attended our recent national Roadshow and provided invaluable feedback on what the way forward should look like. We will continue to collaborate with all Members and stakeholders closely to develop the capabilities required to accelerate progress towards greater packaging sustainability”.