MEDIA RLEASE – 16 November 2020


APCO is delighted to announce that it has received the go-ahead for two exciting new plastic packaging projects under the federal government’s Product Stewardship Investment Fund. The projects will be delivered under the ANZPAC Plastics Pact, a new program launching on 1 January 2021. 

With a focus on oil containers and plastic plant packaging, the two new projects were designed to shift away from an organisational product stewardship perspective towards a much broader sectoral view. This approach will enable each industry to better manage their products throughout the lifecycle, reducing packaging entering landfill and increasing recovery rates. 

The new initiatives include a PoPPr Program to establish a national recovery program for Polypropylene Plant Packaging, including plant pots, trays, tags and stakes. Through a partnership with industry peak-body Greenlife Industry Australia, and support from allied organisations including Horticulture Innovation and the Landscape Association, APCO will work closely with the horticultural sector across Australia on the design and implementation of an industry-endorsed network of collection points for plant packaging. This will enable Australians to return their plant packaging for recycling into new plant packaging and close the loop on horticultural Polypropylene. 

The second project is a new national collection and recycling scheme for plastic oil containers. Plastic oil containers cannot be recycled at kerbside due to residual oil and are an environmental and safety hazard. APCO will engage with industry and governments partners to design and implement an effective, whole-of-supply chain product stewardship model that will address industry funding, free-rider protection and national coverage. 

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans MP, said that we are shifting the dial in Australia on product stewardship as we change our mindset to thinking about waste as a resource and move towards a more circular economy.

“These new product stewardship schemes for used plastic oil containers and plastic plant packaging will reduce harmful waste going to landfill, lift recycling rates and help consumers make a practical, positive difference for the environment”.

Brooke Donnelly commented: “A big thank you to Minister Ley and Minister Evans for their continued support of APCO and our work to build a circular economy for plastic packaging. These projects are one part of an incredibly rich and exciting program of work in the pipeline to tackle plastic, forming part of the pioneer initiatives that will roll out when the ANZPAC Plastics Pact program hits the ground running on Jan 1, 2021. 

“Also, congratulations to our colleagues at the Australian Food and Grocery Council on their exciting new plastic packaging project. It is a stellar example of the mutually reinforcing activities needed to build a circular economy for packaging in Australia. We look forward to our continued close working relationship, as together we work with other key stakeholders and industry to accelerate the solutions for managing plastic packaging throughout its lifecycle”.

For more information about the Product Stewardship Investment Fund visit: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/product-stewardship/national-product-stewardship-investment-fund 

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About APCO (www.apco.org.au)

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not for profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. APCO works with governments, businesses and other organisations from across Australia’s large and complex packaging value chain to develop the insights, resources and programs that are needed to build a sustainable national packaging ecosystem. In 2018, APCO was endorsed by government to lead the delivery of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets and ensure all packaging is 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.