The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation ….who they are and what do they do.

About APCO 

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. APCO represents 1500 member companies, representing 153 separate ANZSIC codes, covering the entire product life cycle and supply chain. 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.

About the 2025 National Packaging Targets

In 2018 Australia established the 2025 National Packaging Targets to create a new sustainable pathway for the way we manage packaging in Australia. APCO is leading the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.  

The four targets, to be achieved by 2025, are:

  • 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging 
  • 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted
  • 30% of average recycled content included in packaging 
  • The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging.

To meet these packaging targets will mean a complete and systemic change to the way industry create, collect and recover product packaging, and will apply to all packaging that is made, used and sold in Australia.  APCO is the agency charged with making this change happen.

Developed following extensive industry and government consultation, the Targets are in line with broader sustainable packaging shifts that are taking place globally to reduce the volume of material entering landfill, improve recycling rates, and increase the use of recycled material in future packaging.

To bring the 2025 National Packaging Targets to life, APCO has developed a coordinated, whole-of-supply chain approach to promote the avoidance, reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling of packaging materials. There is significant work to be delivered, with engagement and collaboration needed from across the supply chain.  This work will take place across three phases, with activity for the Foundation phase already well and truly under way. For more information about the work being delivered to bring the 2025 National Packaging Targets to life, visit their projects page.

Australasian Recycling Label(ARL)

There is some confusion in the community about how to recycle different types of packaging and that is a challenge for consumers in Australian and New Zealand. To address this, APCO have recently launched a nationwide labelling scheme that will help the consumer to better understand how to recycle products more effectively and will also assist business and brand owners to design packaging that can be recycled at the end of its life.  Contamination in the waste stream is a big challenge that can be addressed through clear and consistent consumer education. The ARL is a program launched by Planet Ark, APCO and PREP Design to provide consistent labelling. Read more about the program here: