The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has published Scaling Up Reusable Packaging, a new resource that outlines the importance of reuse and how businesses and users can benefit from reusable packaging models.
Following avoidance or reduction of packaging materials, the waste hierarchy places reuse as the next best pathway to achieve the highest potential environmental value for packaging.
The Scaling Up Reusable Packaging document outlines the many opportunities for reusable packaging in both the B2C and B2B markets, with a number of case studies outlining how many businesses have already successfully adopted reuse models.
The resource also provides a framework for organisations that are seeking to develop or shift their product into a reusable packaging model, including key questions to consider and answer.
Scaling Up Reusable Packaging “Is Critical
“Accelerating the uptake of reusable packaging and working with businesses to expand the range of applications for its use is a critical element of not only achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets but the development of a true circular economy for packaging,” said Brooke Donnelly, CEO, APCO.
“At its core, the work to transition Australia towards the use of sustainable packaging is based on finding more sustainable alternatives to our current packaging landscape. Put simply, reuse is one of the most effective ways we can achieve this. The ongoing phase-out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics is a clear demonstration of the fantastic potential of reusable alternatives. It’s vital businesses engage with reusable packaging now and assess how it could help them to achieve the 2025 Targets.”
In the development of this document, APCO engaged with a variety of stakeholders across a range of sectors in both the B2C and B2B markets, who provided valuable insights into the opportunities, benefits, and considerations identified within.
According to the study, the key drivers underpinning the need for scaling up reusable packaging include:
- Rising global sustainability pressures from consumers, businesses, and governments to reduce waste, eliminate pollution and reduce carbon emissions from packaging materials.
- Complying with National Waste import and export bans coming into effect. By 2024, Australia will no longer be able to export 1.4 million tonnes annually of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres previously exported for reprocessing.
- The ongoing development of government circular economy policies.
- Capturing the value of circular economy initiatives. By 2025, the value of the circular economy to Australia is estimated to be $26 billion per year.
- Demand by consumers for more sophisticated packaging functionalities, which can achieve easier cost justification through reuse models.
Scaling Up Reusable Packaging is available to download on the APCO website. A special webinar delving into the new resource will take place on 23 February.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is the agency charged by government to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. To achieve this goal, APCO is working closely with government and industry to deliver a range of sustainable design, recycling, waste to landfill reduction and circular economy projects. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading product stewardship organisations with a strong national and global collaborative network, APCO is committed to reducing the environmental impact of packaging on Australian communities by moving towards a circular economy.
Further information: www.apco.org.au.