Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

The Australian Packaging Covenant (the Covenant) is a national regulatory framework under the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 (NEPM) that sets out how governments and businesses across Australia share the responsibility for managing the environmental impacts of packaging. The aim of the Covenant is to encourage businesses to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates, and reduce the amount of packaging sent to landfill. The Covenant is a partnership between the Australian federal, state, and territory governments and the packaging industry, including brand owners, retailers, and packaging manufacturers. It is an important part of Australia’s commitment to achieving a circular economy and reducing waste.

The Covenant applies to businesses in the supply chain that have a total annual turnover of $5 million or more, that meet the definition of Brand Owner as set out within the NEPM.

These businesses are required to choose between:

  • Becoming a Signatory to the Covenant and contributing to the collective national efforts in managing packaging waste, or
  • Meeting compliance obligations under the NEPM which are implemented by the laws and other arrangements of participating states and territories where a business sells or distributes its products.

When organisations become a Brand Owner Member of APCO and a Signatory to the Covenant, they agree to shared commitments and joint responsibilities to work collaboratively to achieve sustainable packaging outcomes.

Australia is committed to achieving the following targets by 2025:

  • 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.
  • 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted.
  • 50% of average recycled content included in packaging (reduced by 28% from 2017-18 baseline)

Further information on APCO Brand Owner Membership can be found here.