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APCO awards celebrate continued success of sustainable packaging in Australia

On Wednesday evening, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) Awards celebrated “bold and brave” companies making improvements to the packaging industry.

APCO members, industry leaders and Australia’s waste minister came together in Melbourne to recognise the great achievements in the packaging sector this year.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said that all winners and finalists of the APCO awards demonstrate that Australian industry is driving forward with the positive business case for sustainable packaging in a time where more Australian businesses need to adopt an approach that’s both good for the environment, good for business and good for the country.

“We enjoy seeing how far and wide; and how progressive, bold and brave industry, and especially Australian industry, can be when given the ability to lead and the ability to show how clever, innovative and creative our country is.

“We are on a huge transformation and that transformation will have big wins and small wins, but it’s important to celebrate all of them because it’s really easy to buy into negative space, it’s easy to buy into a job that is too big. What’s important, is to remember to have confidence and to be empowered to believe that we can make a difference,” Donnelly said.

She, along with more than 180 guests, were joined by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, who took the time to reflect on how much the Australian Packaging Covenant and its members had achieved over the past few decades.

Evans congratulated APCO for taking the next steps in its journey to determine its future directions.

“I also acknowledge all of you – the organisations who are members of and who work with and partner with APCO in driving the change that you are driving. You are at the forefront of Australia’s shift to a more circular economy and it is indeed a time when public awareness , public sentiment about , waste reduction, environmental management and sustainability has never been more top of mind,” Evans said.

He continued by acknowledging  the evening as a time to recognise the high achievers who continue to commit to creating sustainable packaging in Australia.

“This is an area of policy that has very quickly going from zero to hero; and in a very short period of time we are seeing that rapid transition as these issues take centre stage in the national conversation,” he said.

Evans, who presented the Sustainable Packaging Excellence category, said it is inspiring to hear more about the practical initiatives that Australian businesses are implementing across the country right now to improve their packaging recyclability, to build strong, sustainable supply chains and, critically, to deliver the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

“I look forward to working closely with APCO and all of its Members in 2020 to continue to drive such meaningful and important change,” Evans said.

The finalists and winners of the APCO awards were selected based on their performance in sustainable packaging design, recycling initiatives and product stewardship programs to develop sustainable supply chains.

CHEP took home the coveted Sustainable Packaging Excellence award, in recognition of its dedication to collaboration. In addition to delivering a global reusable packaging model, CHEP works with hundreds of businesses to build and support sustainable supply chains.

Other award recipients included BioPak (Outstanding Achievement in Leadership), which in the last year undertook a number of notable sustainability initiatives including the development of compostable packaging for single-use food service items. Also recognised was Panasonic (Outstanding Achievement in Outcomes), which has worked on a range of reductions and material efficiency initiatives including a 57 per cent reduction in overall packaging for its 4K BD Player.

Biopak founder Richard Fine said the awards validate and celebrate the companies who have demonstrated their commitment to meet the goals of the Australian Packaging Covenant.

“We are thrilled to be a winner in the 2019 APCO awards, earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their achievements acknowledged and celebrated. This recognition means so much to our organisation,” Fine said.

This year’s event also featured two new categories – High Performing New Member, which went to Marechal Australia, which has seen 100 per cent of solid waste being recovered. Also newly introduced in 2019 is the APCO Sustainability Champion Award – a category recognising individual achievement.

The winning companies of the 2019 awards were:  

  • Sustainable Packaging Excellence- CHEP Australia
  • Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership- BioPak
  • Outstanding Achievement in Packaging Design- Panasonic Australia
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sustainable Packaging Operations- Amgen Australia
  • APCO Sustainability Champion- Diarmaid O’Mordha
  • High Performing New Member- Marechal Australia
  • Chemicals & Agriculture Sector- LyondellBasell Australia
  • Clothing, Footwear & Fashion Sector- Hugo Boss Australia
  • Electronics Sector- Dell Australia
  • Food & Beverage Sector- Red Rooster Foods
  • Homewares Sector- LEGO Australia
  • Large Retailer Sector- Coles Supermarkets Australia
  • Logistics Sector- CHEP Australia
  • Machinery & Hardware Sector- RYCO Group
  • Packaging Manufacturer Sector- Detmold Packaging
  • Personal Care Sector- ABC Tissue Products
  • Pharmaceuticals Sector- Amgen Australia
  • Telecommunications Sector- SingTel Optus