Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) document (download here) is a comprehensive, publicly available resource used to assist in the sustainable design and manufacture of packaging in Australia.

The purpose of the SPGs is to assist Australian organisations to integrate the following ten Sustainable Packaging Principles into their operations. These Principles have been designed to optimise outcomes for packaging functionality and sustainability, and to help collectively deliver Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets:




The following resources help organisations to successfully integrate the SPGs into their operations through design and procurement practices:

Sustainable Packaging Checklist - to assist Members to record the outcomes of each packaging review using the SPGs.

Quickstart Guide to Design for Recovery: Reuse, Recycling & Composting.

Quickstart Guide to Labelling for Recovery.

Quickstart Guide to Designing for Recyclability: PET Packaging.

Quickstart Guide to Designing for Recyclability: Glass Packaging.


APCO Members can access a range of Member-only resources that support the SPGs, including the ‘Principles of the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines’, and case studies demonstrating how Members have successfully integrated the SPGs into their business practices.


APCO leads a regular review of the SPGs in consultation with government and industry. The current version was launched at the 2019 APCO Awards. 

The SPGs are a central part of APCO’s co-regulatory framework. The National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (the NEPM) and the Australian Packaging Covenant both reference the SPGs as a resource to assist the design and manufacture of packaging that balances the demands of the market, consumer protection and the environment. 

The SPGs are agreed by all state and territory governments, and are given effect by the legislative frameworks that implement the NEPM in each jurisdiction, including:

Legislative Frameworks that Implement the NEPM in Each Jurisdiction.png

Download the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines here.