Major changes to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) through a new five-year strategic plan have been endorsed by Australia’s environment ministers.
The National Environment Protection Council discussed the importance of reducing packaging waste at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Meeting of Environment Ministers on 25 November
The APC was set up as an initiative between government and industry to find and fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues.
At the latest COAG meeting, the state, territory and federal environment ministers agreed that the new direction of the Covenant will ensure the APC promotes businesses working across their supply chain to reduce waste, design more sustainable packaging and increase the recycling rate.
Trish Hyde, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, welcomed the ministers’ decision and support for the new chapter in the Covenant’s development.
“With the endorsement of the five year strategic plan, we can now turn our attention to delivery – delivering environmental outcomes and delivering member value,” she said.
“Our new strategic direction will focus on optimising resource use by supporting sustainable design and circular economies, reducing waste to landfill and creating a knowledge centre to enable industry leadership.”
The revised Covenant is set to be introduced on 1 January 2017, once all jurisdictions have completed their internal processes. The 2017-22 Strategic plan will be officially launched to members on Thursday 8 December.
“The Covenant is a partnership agreement between industry and government, and its success depends on collaboration, industry accountability and good governance. It is the framework that supports the APC’s industry-led, ambitious and aspirational five year strategic plan,” added Ms Hyde.
“This is our opportunity to step up and deliver industry and community relevant environmental outcomes.”