2024 APCO Roadshow

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Over 800 participants recently joined APCO's 2024 Roadshow, providing valuable feedback to help shape our 2030 Packaging Strategy - a bold new strategy to lead packaging circularity through to 2025 and beyond.

Businesses have worked hard to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets, however, a lack of system-wide alignment has been a barrier. As such, the 2030 strategy takes on a bold new vision to align the entire system to strengthen your social licence to use packaging. The strategy is based around four principles: 

Principle 1: Transforming the Packaging Value Chain is Crucial:

Delivering on the National Packaging Targets and the goals of the Covenant requires transformation of the packaging value chain (the system) that goes beyond past approaches. 


Data shows that Australia is not on track to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. Despite some progress in design, labelling, and recycled content, recent reporting reveals insufficient advancement, particularly in recycling rates, notably for plastics and cardboard.  The evolving landscape demands a bold shift in approach.  This shift is essential to meet both industry obligations and community expectations regarding recycling.

Principle 2: The Solution depends on closing Economic Gaps:

Transforming the system requires closure of critical economic gaps encompassing design, collection, recovery and end-markets. 

There is a cost to collect, sort, transport and reprocess packaging. System transformation requires critical economic gaps are bridged across various stages of the packaging lifecycle. Achieving this requires substantial investment in additional infrastructure. Currently, the cost of collecting and recycling this packaging is higher than the value of the recycled materials itself.  System transformation must address the economic realities of the packaging value chain.

Principle 3: All Brand owners take responsibility on an equitable and efficient basis:

To close the economic gaps in the system, a mechanism is needed to allocate cost equitably across all brand owners and direct funding to collection, sortation and reprocessing where it will have the greatest impact. 

It is important that costs are fairly and strategically allocated to where collection, sorting, and reprocessing efforts can be most effective. Currently, APCO membership fees are primarily designed to cover operational costs and are not collected to account for the environmental impact of specific materials. To address this, APCO’s 2030 strategy proposes the introduction of eco-modulated fees. These fees vary based on the environmental impact and volume of the materials used, promoting more sustainable packaging design and material choices. This approach has been implemented successfully in several European countries, including France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Principle 4: The system needs an administrator with strong links across the system and clear accountability to members and governments:

The coordinating role is highly complex, both in designing and administering the mechanism and what is likely to be a range of supporting programs (e.g. labelling, technical support, stewardship implementation). A single entity should have carriage of this role, and that entity must be a ‘change maker’, not merely an ‘administrator’.

What's next?

In line with our obligations under the Covenant, APCO will submit its 2030 strategy to the Federal Environment Ministers prior to the mid-year meeting. 


Subject to the Environment Minister’s endorsement, an extensive engagement process will follow to support the design and development of eco-modulated fees. This process will consider the forthcoming National Packaging Design Standards and Targets post-2025. Once finalised, we aim to communicate the eco-modulated model by the end of FY25.