Sustainability is a hot topic for the private and public sectors across the globe. Although the concept isn't new, it has gained traction as the effects of climate change get worse. The need for the adoption of sustainable practices has extended to a vast range of industries and sectors. The packaging industry, in particular, is encouraged to utilise eco-friendly packaging alternatives to produce less waste.
Recently, only a third of Australia's plastic packaging waste was being recycled. Most of the refuse was redirected towards landfills because recycling plants couldn't accommodate them. Individuals and organisations alike have set out to reduce packaging waste through innovative solutions. One of these is the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). But instead of solely focusing on reducing waste, APCO is looking towards the adoption of sustainable packaging activities.
What is APCO?
APCO was founded to manage and administer the Australian Packaging Covenant. This not-for-profit organisation works with local governments and industry leaders to lessen the impact of packaging materials on the environment. APCO has set out to achieve the Covenant's goals by 2020 with a strategic plan.
Understanding the Australian Packaging Covenant
The Covenant is an advisory document for governments and industries throughout the country. It reminds signatories of their responsibility in reducing the environmental impact of packaging materials. The Covenant encourages prioritising:
- The optimisation of resource recovery in the supply chain to bolster recycling efforts and put less strain on resources
- The mitigation of environmental risks by encouraging the use of alternative packaging materials.
These goals ultimately aim to strengthen the supply chain’s efforts in becoming more sustainable. They encourage the establishment of recycling targets, the utilisation of different packaging designs and the adoption of sustainable alternatives in packaging.
Do I have to join APCO?
Although membership with APCO is not essential, it is advantageous. As a business owner in the supply chain, you are required to comply with the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM). Becoming a signatory to the Covenant gives you an edge in adhering to the NEPM's regulatory obligations.
The regulatory body helps importers/suppliers, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and retailers improve their sustainability efforts. The extensive guidelines set by the NEPM can be difficult to satisfy without the proper resources. As a member, APCO provides you with the support and guidelines to streamline your compliance.
Lite Group, providing you with sustainable alternatives
Aside from joining the Covenant, you are free to adopt and implement your own sustainable solutions. As the business owner, you have a better knowledge of what your company can do to be more environmentally friendly.
Lite Group is committed to providing Australian businesses with environmentally sustainable products, specifically packaging. We've developed honeycomb cardboard products that reduce your dependence on other packaging materials. These sheets of cardboard are also easily recyclable to decrease your carbon footprint.
Learn more about sustainable packaging alternatives and how they help you adhere to NEPM standards and meet the Covenant’s goals. Our team will gladly answer any of your enquiries and address all of your concerns.