The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) provides pathways to reduce the amount of packaging materials ending up in landfill, turning the waste into a valuable resource, and keep the maximum value of materials, energy and labour within the local economy.
The APCO product stewardship scheme seeks to:
- Improve the design of packaging to reduce waste and improve recyclability with a focus on achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets (PDF).
- Implement product stewardship projects targeting the recovery of specific material streams.
Benefits to the environment
The scheme benefits the environment by:
- Improving the conservation and recovery of materials where:
- member companies are implementing the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
- problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging is being eliminated
- uptake of reusable packaging is being increased and
- recovery of used packaging is being increased
- Increasing the safe recovery of packaging which contains hazardous substances. Some packaging is contaminated with hazardous product residues such as containers for chemicals and engine oil. The arrangement will prioritise the implementation of subsidiary product stewardship projects that address hazardous packaging.
How it works
APCO manages several programs to develop a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Programs in place or under development include:
- The Australian Packaging Covenant
This agreement, between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and businesses across Australia, sets out how governments and business share responsibility for managing the environmental impacts of packaging.
The Covenant optimises resource recovery of packaging through the supply chain and supports innovation and solutions to prevent packaging waste from entering the environment.
- The Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Plastics Pact
A regional program administered by APCO and part of the global network of plastics pacts, convened by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The Pact supports engagement on regional and global supply chains for plastics, to help develop producer responsibility models for problematic packaging waste streams.
- Subsidiary product stewardship projects addressing specific material streams
APCO is working with its members and stakeholders to put in place product stewardship programs for problematic packaging waste streams, which will be implemented as part of the accredited arrangement.
APCO’s membership includes:
- Brand Owners
- Covenant Supporters
- Industry Associations
- Government agencies
- International affiliates
- Sustainability professionals
There are currently more than 2,000 APCO members.
How can industry take part
Businesses dedicated to improving packaging sustainability in Australia are encouraged to join APCO. Further details on how to join are available on the APCO website.
Further information on APCO and the schemes it administers:
The Product Stewardship accreditation logo will be used:
- In communication activities, resources and public documents as the lead logo for both the ANZPAC program, and all future subsidiary product stewardship programs developed as part of the APCO arrangement.
- On key APCO publications supporting engagement of industry in the work of the Australian Packaging Covenant and achievement of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
- As a program member badge for specific organisations that are members of either the ANZPAC or the subsidiary product stewardship programs.
The logo will not be used on consumer products or packaging.
Arrangement name Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Arrangement
Administrator Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Ltd
Administrator contact details Chief Executive Officer, Brooke Donnelly firstname.lastname@example.org
Person(s) authorised to use Product Stewardship Logo Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Published annual reports will be uploaded to the Department’s website.