APCO celebrates one of the best in sustainable packaging

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has announced the winners of its 2023 Annual Awards. The ceremony, held on 2 November, was dedicated to honouring businesses that have shown excellence in sustainable packaging design and innovation.

The highly coveted Best of Reporting Excellence Award went home with electronics company Belkin Limited. Belkin investigated how its packaging is managed post-consumer purchase. The company used this data to develop packaging that aligns with the 2025 National Packaging Targets for single-use plastic reduction, recycled content, and the use of compostable materials. These learnings were also applied to Belkin products sold globally.

Woolworths Group Head of Packaging Bryan McKay was recognised as this year’s Sustainable Champion for his efforts to scale sustainable packaging initiatives which have materially contributed to packaging circularity within the FMCG industry.

The Our Packaging Future (OPF) Awards, celebrate industry achievements in consumer education, improved recycling systems and end-market developments.

Leading retail leaders who won awards included Coles Group, who was awarded the OPF Industry Education Award for its supplier packaging enablement program aimed to address key supplier knowledge gaps in packaging sustainability education.

Another leading retailer, Officeworks received the OPF Consumer Education Award for its ‘Greener Choices’ product range, refreshing and relaunching it as the ‘People and Planet Positive’ product range. As part of the refresh, Officeworks introduced a reuse, refill and recyclable category.

Also recognised was Brother International Australia in the OPF Sustainable Packaging Guidelines Implementation Award for its transformative journey to pioneer sustainable packaging practices, creating packaging with a clear recovery solution in mind and incorporating recycled content into its packaging.

APCO CEO Chris Foley says: “It has been a great pleasure to hear the success stories of collaboration, innovation and leadership from this year’s finalists and winners. The Awards demonstrate the industry’s progress to meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets and more broadly how we are shaping the future of packaging here in Australia.

“It is empowering to see organisations across the industry laying the foundations for a stronger packaging system beyond 2025, and making tangible progress toward implementing a circular economy for packaging. I can’t wait to see the ground-breaking achievements and positive change that emerge over the next year.”

Over 200 guests from the packaging, waste and recycling industries gathered to celebrate the achievements of the winners in sustainable packaging transformation over the past 12 months.

This year, APCO partnered with the Banksia Foundation, who brought a panel of independent judges from across the packaging industry value chain.

Industry Sector Award winners

APCO’s Industry Sector Awards recognise high performing APCO Members based on their annual report. These members promote sustainable packaging design and innovation across a broad range of sectors including electronics, retail, food and beverage and manufacturing.

Full report score winners

  • Agriculture and Nurseries – Rivalea
  • Chemicals, Hardware, and Machinery – Clorox Australia
  • Electronics – Belkin
  • Food and Beverage – Arnott’s Group
  • General Merchandise and Apparel – Hanes Australasia (HBI Holdings Australia)
  • Healthcare and Scientific – Coty Australia
  • Logistics and Warehousing – CHEP Australia
  • Packaging Manufacturers and Suppliers – Ball & Doggett.

SME winners

  • Agriculture and Nurseries – Quintis Sandalwood
  • Chemicals, Hardware, and Machinery – Insulect Australia
  • Electronics – COMSOL
  • Food and Beverage – Berton Vineyards
  • General Merchandise and Apparel – KeepCup
  • Healthcare and Scientific – Advanced Skin Technology
  • Packaging Manufacturers and Suppliers – O F Packaging.

Our Packaging Future Award Winners

The Our Packaging Future Awards highlight promising, innovative projects from across the industry, with achievements in consumer education, improved recycling systems and end-market development. Submissions are assessed against three key pillars: innovation, accessibility and impact. 

  • SPGs Implementation – Brother International Australia
  • Reuse – CHEP Australia
  • Industry Education – Coles Group
  • Consumer Education – Officeworks
  • Improved Recycling Systems – Tetra Pak Oceania and saveBOARD
  • Recycled Content – SC Johnson.

Best of Reporting Excellence Award Winner

This prestigious award celebrates the highest performing members out of the APCO Industry Sector Awards winners.

  • Best of Reporting Excellence – Belkin Limited.

Sustainable Champion Award Winner

This award is given to individuals who are making a tangible impact on sustainable packaging in Australia. It celebrates proactivity and leadership in packaging circularity including improvements in recycling, education and research and development.

  • Sustainable Champion – Woolworths Head of Packaging Bryan McKay.

Woolworths Head of Packaging Bryan McKay and APCO Board Chair Sam Anderson.

Tetra Pak Sustainability Director Vikas Ahuja and ACOR CEO Suzanne Toumbourou.

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