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APCO pursues federal product stewardship accreditation

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is pursuing accreditation under the Federal Government’s revamped product stewardship legislation.

Assistant Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Minister Trevor Evans has welcomed the decision.

According to Evans, accreditation gives companies and organisations a government-backed tick of approval to show they are helping drive circular economy outcomes.

“Consumers expect action on plastic packaging, and the Federal Government is looking at all options to ensure the 2025 National Packaging Targets are met,” he said.

Evans added that the Federal Government has made important changes to accreditation in its new waste and recycling legislation, which is currently before Parliament.

“Once this legislation is passed, more companies will be able to apply for this tick of approval and use the official product stewardship logo, helping them market their products to environmentally-conscious consumers,” he said.

If approved, APCO will become one of the first Australian organisations to be accredited under the modernised product stewardship scheme.

“This will give greater transparency to the efforts of Australian packaging companies to significantly increase the amount of packaging that is recycled and the amount of recycled content used in new packaging in the future,” Evans said.

“This decision by APCO to move to pursue accreditation under the revamped product stewardship legislation is another critical step in meeting Australia’s ambitious packaging targets by 2025.”

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said the proposed new accreditation system will provide a powerful opportunity to promote robust and accountable product stewardship practices in Australia.

“As Australia’s largest and most effective product stewardship organisation, we welcome the opportunity to further progress the positive environmental, social and economic outcomes driven by the collective impact program delivered by APCO,” she said.

The Federal Government’s new waste and recycling legislation allows the minister to call out businesses “letting Australians down” by not participating in accredited or voluntary schemes.

“Equally importantly, the minister will also be able to highlight companies and schemes that are achieving positive outcomes and working to strongly reduce Australia’s overall waste footprint,” Evans said.

“Over 100 applications have been received for the $20 million Product Stewardship Investment Fund, which will result in dozens of new and improved national product stewardship schemes across Australia.”

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