President’s Word

The challenge continues and the results come: WPO is each day more global!

Pierre Pienaar*

Since WPO meetings in Prague, during May 2019, much has been happening in packaging on every continent around the world. Our various social media platforms have been filled with the news around the world. If you are involved with packaging, I encouraged you to link up with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It is not so easy ensuring that we keep up to date through only the media releases of packaging magazines, bulletins and books. We of the older generation need to embrace these social media platforms of today to remain abreast.

I am thrilled to have new member countries joining the WPO. This took place whilst in Prague, and since May we are steadily welcoming more and more Corporate Partners from industry, into the WPO. This is an exciting program, simply because although we have only member countries on the WPO Board, we now can directly interface and share ideas and opportunities with industry around the world.

It is encouraging that we will be having more prospective countries from around the world presenting their credentials to the WPO Board in Bali, Indonesia in November 2019 with the aim of becoming members of the WPO.

These past two months there has been packaging exhibitions and conferences in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, to name a few. Other countries have held their national awards competitions as well as Student Packaging Awards. All bodes well for the emerging Arab Region that held an all record breaking ArabStar Student Awards from 18 countries within their region with almost 1000 students participating.

I am pleased to reflect on reaching some goals that we set as an administration in November 2017 in Rio de Janerio. We needed to broaden the WPO global reach and we were determined to increase our education portfolio. In both these areas, these past two years, we have made a significant impact across the globe. Through our very efficient, up to date and informative media outlets we have expanded our reach more than 10-fold. Whilst, on the education front we have increased training opportunities, holding sessions of 3, 4- and 5-day programs in countries not been there before, increasing student numbers 2-fold. We are forging relationships with global organisations to generate more funding for more education courses across the globe.

The WPO Executive committee have been stretched during this latest period crossing the globe to ensure the WPO presence at all major events and where possible also travelling to encourage the emerging sectors of our global industry. At the same time, the WPO Global Ambassadors have continued to perform their duties and responsibilities in significant ways making a difference in setting up the opportunities to better meet the goals that the WPO set back in November 2017. This is true ambassadorial roles being fulfilled.

One of my passions, and another of the WPO goals that we set in November 2017, is the reduction of food waste in an attempt to reduce world poverty. There is no shortage of food in our world. Over 30% of the world’s food production goes to waste. This is enough to feed the entire planet’s starving population. Together with the use of intelligent packaging which can cut waste within the distribution chain and which can reassure consumers and retailers on the safety of packaged foods. We must begin to get serious about developing packaging that gets more food to more people who need it most. 

As more and more consumers have access to the internet and smartphones, we can expect online purchasing to rise exponentially. As mentioned before, this demand will elevate the need for appropriate packaging solutions. I anticipate a spike in especially corrugated board formats which can ship goods around the globe through more complex distribution chains. With the birth of social media and the globalisation of our planet into a village, consumers are increasingly demanding what they see others have around the world.

And as life gets more hectic and impacts on our health, and we see the results on the ever popular selfie photograph, we demand the packaging of healthier foods, including gluten-free, organic, portion-controlled, flexible, sustainable packaged goods. The WPO feels very strongly that education is the key to coping with the current and future demands of the packaging industry. As customers become increasingly demanding, our need for understanding these global trends and a knowledge of the science behind the package will become more and more important.

*Pierre Pienaar is President of WPO
+61 421 606 028
Skype Pierre Pienaar
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Around the World

Liderpack, the packaging competition in Spain

The deadline to participate at Liderpack 2019 Awards is September 30th. The packaging award is organized by AESPACKAGING (Spanish Packaging Association) together with WPO member, Graphispack (, and the Hispack Exhibition. It recognizes the innovation, sustainability, quality and creativity of packaging and students´packaging projects.

Created in 1995, Liderpack Awards is the most important packaging competition in Spain and is open to participation of manufacturers, designers, advertising and brand agencies and brands that launched or implemented packaging, labels, dosing systems or packaging processes for consumer and industrial products as well as POS materials.

The winners are eligible to represent Spain in the WorldStars, the global packaging competition from WPO; and student´s projects can participate in WorldStar Student Award. In 2019, Spanish winners of WorldStar were Avanza Packaging, Careli 2007, S.L., Flexomed, S.L., Glasspackaging (Prime Specialist Coatings) and Salló Kyra, S.L.

Just to remind, recently IEEE (Spanish Institute of Packaging) was integrated to AESPACKAGING (Spanish Packaging Association). The Association will continue its activities and programs under the Graphispack Association structure, that is the WPO member in Spain.

IoPP announces packaging winners in USA

Judges at IoPP (the Institute of Packaging Professionals), WPO member in the USA, have selected 27 winning packages in IoPP’s 2019 AmeriStar Packaging Awards contest, selected from entries in 17 categories. The winners include those for the coveted top three awards: Best of Show, Design Excellence and Sustainable Packaging.

The Best of Show Award honors a package that surpasses all judging criteria and that judges rated “outstanding” in every categorty. The Design Excellence Award recognizes the package that best integrates structure and graphic design. Judges look at in-store preentation and how the improved package functionality can persuade consumers to think about the product in a new way. The Sustainable Packaging Award honors the most resourceful package in the AmeriStar competition. Judges consider how packaging can reduce its impact on the environment, evaluating efficient energy usage; recycling efforts; and effective use of reusable, recyclable and eco-friendly packaging materials.

IoPP also awarded four deserving packages in its annual Student AmeriStar competition. IoPP’s announcement of all its 2019 AmeriStar winners can be viewed on the IoPP website. “These were the most outstanding packages submitted to our awards contest for the past year, and truly the best of the best, among a lot of tough competition,” says Jane Chase, IoPP Executive Director. “IoPP is honored to salute the fine work these packaging teams have done on some really stellar packages.”

All winners are eligible to WorldStar, the global packaging competition from WPO. Entries are open until September 27 at More information contact

Major packaging show in Barcelona

The Spanish packaging show, Hispack ( is preparing to grow. The triennial trade fair, organized by Fira de Barcelona, has recently presented its 2021-2024 Strategic Plan to representatives of companies and trade associations. In its next two editions, Hispack will focus on increasing the representativeness of companies and becoming more international, besides contributing to accelerate innovation in packaging, process and logistics.

Hispack plans to have more than a thousand direct exhibitors and a net surface area of 50.000m² by 2024. At the same time, it will focus on progressively increasing the profile of direct purchasing decision-makers among the visitors, as well as the presence of leading manufacturing brands in food and other consumer and industrial sectors inside and outside Spain.

Food Safety and Plastic Recycling discussed in in Greece

WPO member in Greece, Greek Packaging Association (AGMPM –, participated in three importante events in the country in the frist months of 2019. In March, during the international FoodExpo 2019, AGMPM, along with the Hellenic Association of Food Technologists (HEL.A.F.T), organized the workshop ‘FCM and Food Safety, New Studies and Regulations’.

Before, the Association participated in the 3rd Expo for the Environment, Verde Tec 2019 in which the chairman of AGMPM, Dimitris Mantis, made the presentation 'Business in the Green Age' with focus in the new tools for plastic packaging recycling.

The first chapter of the presentation included the latest studies of OECD and McKinsey as well as a review of the European legislation (2018/852, Single use plastics directive) and the restrictions of exporting plastic waste to China, Malaysia, India, Poland etc. Mantis also presented the new techniques developed for the mechanical recycling of plastic packaging (twin screw extrusion, degassiong, purification purges) and then mentioned a few indicative success stories of redesigning plastic packaging structures.

Also in February, AGMPM was one of the supporters of the Smart Factory Conference 2019 that demonstrated the value, opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0 in the industrial value chain. Early adopters from international and local manufacturing companies, experts and practitioners showcased their steps towards digital transformation, citing benefits such as improvements in agility, time, quality and production costs.

ABRE´s booth was one of the attractions of Fispal Tecnologia 2019 in Brazil

WPO member in Brazil, ABRE (Brazilian Packaging Association – had a valuable participation at Fispal Tecnologia 2019, considered one of the major show for processing, packaging and logistics, for food and beverage industries, in Latin America. The Circuito ABRE de Palestras was one of the big attraction of the trade show. In its booth, ABRE joined 22 members´presentations about various subjects, including packaging trends, innovation, solutions and efficiency.

ABRE´s booth also received the Popular Vote stage of the ABRE´s Award of Braziklian Packaging with 175 packaging to be voted. The onliune voting continuous at

An intense program for Graphispack in 2019

WPO member in Spain, Graphispack, reported a lot of valuable activities in the first six months of 2019. Among them:

  • participation in a sector packaging meeting with the Waste Agency of Catalonian to discuss waste management;
  • organization of a technical conference on packaging printing;
  • preparation of the Flexible Packaging Forum 2019 that is scheduled to September in Madrid;
  • development of a packaging study that joined professionals from the whole packaging chain;
  • active participation in technological packaging platforms.

If you want more information on future activities visit

From the board

WPO President participates in packaging innovation course

WPO member, Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), led two-week intensive lecturing for the Master of Food & Packaging Innovation course, at the University of Melbourne, focused on Food Packaging Materials and Processes. AIP provided all the lecturers for both weeks that were selected based on the unique expertise in their packaging related fields.

AIP Education Director, Pierre Pienaar – that is also WPO President - is the coordinator of the Master course for the Institute and was one of the lecturers. There are 62 students enrolled in the Master degree covering a range of countries including Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines.

Another successful meeting WPO and UNIDO

WPO General Secretary and Director of Packforce Austria, Johannes Bergmair, and his assistance Barbara Zottl, together with Ernst Krottendorfer, also Director of Packforce, visited UNIDO´s office located at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss a study on existing tools for environmental assessment of food packaging that is being conducted by WPO and its Austrian member, Packforce Austria. “We had a great opportunity of discussing with our UNIDO colleagues, Ali Badarneh and Heba Hamed, the next steps of this important study and follow up the actual and future projects”, explains Johannes.

In November 2017, WPO and UNIDO signed their first MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for strategic cooperation in the field of packaging and food safety training and capacity building. The purpose was “to achieve the mutually declared objectives towards the operationalization of UNIDOS’s mandate for inclusive sustainable industrial development”.

WPO at IAPRI´s Symposium

WPO Ambassador, Carls Olsmats, represented WPO at the IAPRI´s symposium. On the ocasion, he had very constructive talks with IAPRI´s President, Jay Singh, and General Secretary, Ed Church. Soon WPO should have a new important member with great contribution to the Sustainability Working Group. 

Redesign the WorldStar Packaging Award thophy

This unique opportunity for students around the world is still open. Entries to participate in the WorldStar Trophy redesign competition are open until September 27. According to WorldStar coordinator, Rachel Bayswater, “The expectation is that students will really challenge conventional thinking and break the rules with off-the-wall creativity. And this will be the key criteria for judging success.”

The competition is open to students enrolled in college or university courses, undergraduate or graduate, anywhere in the world. Typical courses would be linked to graphic/product/structural design as well as those from material/technology and engineering. Only individual entries are accepted and the points to consider are:

  • maintaining the importance and prestige of this world class award;
  • commercial awareness – does it make sense from a financial point of view? Maximum cost to the awards organiser -  €35 per award;
  • transportable protective box for each trophy;
  • the prototype can be made of any material designs which demonstrate awareness of environmental issues through economic use of the material.

Winners will receive €500 from WPO and the criterias for success are:

  1. Originality and aesthetic qualities of the design
  2. Commercial viability
  3. The WPO / WorldStar branding recognition
  4. The quality of portfolio, which must include evidence of research and the development of the design
  5. Inclusion of a prototype - a good quality mock up to withstand transport and handling 
  6. A written summary explaining why the design is the best, how it meets the criteria and the material/s to be used for the final award
  7. Lightweight trophy not exceeding 0.0700kg
  8. A design that can be easily manufactured in quantities

Results will be announced on 01 December. Judging process will be carried out in two rounds. The first one, on line, will involve professionals from IOM3, WPO member in UK and responsible for running the WorldStar program. The second round will be judged by WPO Marketing Group during the 2nd WPO Board Meeting of 2019, in November, in Indonesia.

Entries are online at For more information send an e-mail do

Be ready for 2nd WPO Board Meeting 2019 in Bali

From November 03-08, WPO member in Indonesia, Indonesian Packaging Ferederation ( will host the 2nd WPO Board Meeting of 2019 in Bali. The previous program is:



Sunday, 2019-11-03

09:00 - 16:00

Executive Meeting

Evening program


Monday, 2019-11-04

09:00 – 17:00

World Star Judging

Evening program


Tuesday, 2019-11-05

09:00 – 12:00

Parallel Working Groups Meeting
• Education
• Marketing
• Sustainability

Afternoon Free time

Evening program

Evening Free time

Wednesday, 2019-11-06

09:00 – 17:00

Global Packaging Conference

Plenary room

Evening program

Gala Dinner and Performance

Thursday, 2019-11-07

09:00 – 17:00

WPO Board Meeting

09:00 – 17:00

Global Packaging Conference

Breakout room

Evening program


Friday, 2019-11-08

08:30 – 17:00

Field trip to Eco Bali and Praise which manages packaging waste management in Indonesia then sightseeing to Penglipuran, a traditional village located in Bangli, Bali. It was declared as World's Third Cleanest Village

For more information contact WPO General Secretariat, Barbara Zottl by e-mail


What to expect from WPO packaging education programs in 2019

An example of a successful WPO’s Packaging Training organized in Jakarta/Indonesia in 2018.

WPO Education Committee has settled the WPO’s 2019 training agenda on Packaging Technology. The purpose of those training courses is to increase and develop professional knowledge and competency of packaging industries ‘employees, other professionals in related industries and university students.

The first training of 2019 was organized in Amman (Jordan – March 03-07), by the contributions of the WPO local member Jopack (National Packaging Center) and UNIDO. The five days regional packaging technology training, gathered 23 students from Jordan, Palestine, Oman, Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.

Other packaging training programs approved for 2019 are:

  • IOPN & WPO Food Packaging Technology Training – Nigeria – July;
  • IOPPK & WPO Packaging Technology Training - Kenya – August;
  • LibanPack & WPO Packaging Technology Training - Lebanon – September;
  • ABRE & WPO Packaging Technology Training - Brazil – October;
  • IRIP & WPO Packaging Design and Technology Training - Iran – October;
  • IPF & WPO Packaging Technology Training – Indonesia - 30 Oct – 2 Nov.

Some new education initiatives are being discussed and planned in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central & South Americas, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. And the future potential training programs will be:

  • Packaging Technology
  • Food Packaging Technology,
  • Advanced Packaging Technology
  • Packaging Graphics & Design,
  • Quality Management Subjects.

For more information WPO Vice President Education, Aslihan Arikan



Entries to WPO WorldStar Packaging Awards 2020 are open

WPO announced that the entries for WorldStar Packaging Awards are now open and the closing date is 27 September, 2019. “We encourage every WPO member across the globe to help us promote the largest and most important global packaging award”, alerts Pierre Pienaar, President of WPO.  

Packages eligible for WorldStar are those that have already received a national award recognised by WPO. “In its 52nd year, WorldStar is one of the major events of WPO and last year attracted over 300 entries from 35 countries around the globe. As always, our aim for the next competition is to increase the number of entries and countries participating”, adds Pienaar.

The dates´ schedule to the 2020 edition of WorldStar Packaging Awardws are:

  • 27 September, 2019 - Closing date for entries which will be judged in Bali, Indonesia the week commencing 2 November, 2019.
  • 01 December, 2019 - Results will be announced.
  • 8 May,  2020 - Awards Presentations and Gala Evening, during Interpack 2020, Düsseldorf (Germany).

For general enquiries on the WorldStar Packaging Awards contact:

Rachel Bayswater - WorldStar Co-ordinator
WhatsApp (+ 44) 476 513885

Circular Economy

Development of an international tool for the Circular Design of Packaging – Circular Packaging Design Guideline

By Ernst Krottendorfer*

The Circular Economy Package of the European Union forces much higher recycling rates for packaging.

Initiatives of the European Union are aiming at closing material and product cycles for packaging. With the release of the Circular Economy Package, the European Union is targeting at improving the efficient use of materials and reducing the resource dependency of Europe. In the course of releasing this regulation, the European Union has also issued new rules for packaging and packaging waste.

Substantially increased recycling rate requirements for packaging as of 2025.

These new rules represent a substantial increase in the recycling rates for all packaging materials starting 2025 with 65 % until reaching a minimum of 70% in 2030. Plastic packaging has to get at a recycling rate of 55% until 2030 and all plastic packaging needs to be recyclable 100% in 2030. Further to that there a regulations for a minimum recycling content and restriction in the commercialization of single use plastics.

Basic prerequisite for the implementation is circular packaging design.

In order to reach these goals, circular packaging design is essential to fulfill the targets of recyclability. The definition of recyclability includes a dedicated collection system, packaging materials have to be separable and have sorting capability. Recyclates must be used for the same or similar purposes than the basic product. Besides the requirement for circular product design, investment in recycling capacity and infrastructure is necessary to make circular economy work. Recyclability defines a packaging system that can be recycled in a state-of-the-art packaging waste system on an industrial scale.

Circular Packaging Design Guideline.

The University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Vienna, together with Packforce Austria, the Austrian member of WPO and Circular Analytics, a Vienna-based consulting company, has developed and issued the Circular Packaging Design Guideline. This guideline consists of design recommendations for recyclable packaging. The objective of the guideline is to give actors along the whole value chain information and instructions for action in order to design recyclable packaging. The guideline is constantly reviewed to implement changes and developments in collection, sorting and recycling technology as well as new material developments of packaging. The guideline has been elaborated in close cooperation with material producers, packaging converters, consumer goods companies, retailers, collection systems and recycling companies. The guideline in it´s current form is valid for Austria and Germany.

Model for a holistic assessment of packaging sustainability.

In order to monitor packaging developments and to facilitate packaging design and packaging decisions also a model for the holistic assessment of packaging sustainability has been developed. The model consists of the concept of recyclability as one major element and of the calculation of direct and indirect environmental impacts of packaging. Direct environmental impacts are calculated in the LCA (life cycle analyses) of the packaging system and indirect environmental impacts relate to the LCA of packaging related product losses. For packaging decisions all three elements need to contemplated.

Internationalization of the Circular Packaging Design Guideline.

The recyclability of a packaging system very much depends on the technical capabilities and the recycling infrastructure in a given country. Recyclability therefore differs from country to country. This is a major hurdle for international consumer goods companies and retailers who have to design products and packaging for an international market. These companies and their suppliers and customers need additional information on the recycling infrastructure on an international level.

Call for partners.

In order to support the international development of packaging, Packforce is aiming at internationalizing the Circular Packaging Design Guideline. In a first step Packforce is targeting the European market. Special issues of the guideline shall be developed for:

  • Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland),
  • Central Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia),
  • Western Europe (UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland).

Packforce is therefore looking for cooperation partners in the respective countries, who can contribute in a first step information regarding the collections systems and recycling infrastructure.

*Ernst Krottendorfer is Managing Director of Packforce Austria, a WPO member. For more informartion, contact him by e-mail

Message from General Secretary

Going back to normal... 

...I googled ‘normal packaging’ and what came as No. 1? A normal corrugated box. Sure, it is normal, just a box. But we, as packaging people, know that it is not that easy at all. Corrugated is a high sophisticated product, excellent idea in getting maximal strength with a minimum of material. Fitting for many, many purposes. Common all around the world. Production is very technological – looks easy, but it is not. Based on sustainable material, being recyclable, safe….

Going back to normal…

… is also what came into my mind looking back at the last weeks and months. I hope not many of you did recognize too much – but we had a big project: transferring the WPO Secretariat from US to Austria. Sounds easy, but it was not. Many things to think of, many details to consider. Take action on multiple tasks, facing troubles you never thought of, meanwhile run your business like nothing happened.

But, we did it. Nearly everything is settled. Thanks to our colleagues at Kellen in Chicago for the smooth hand-over. Thanks to Barbara, for her engagement and keeping cool! Thanks to my friends at the Executive Team and all WPO Members for your patience!

Not so normal

We had an outstanding good and productive meeting in the lovely, beautiful gorgeous city of Prague! Thanks again to Vlado, Kateřina and their team!

Next station is Bali. Normal? Well if you think so, you haven’t seen the beautiful pictures in Ariana’s presentation to promote the second WPO Board Meeting of 2019. Here are the facts:

Date: 3-8th November
Venue: Inaya Putri Bali, Nusa Dua (
Proposed program:
Sun, 03 November 2019: Executive Meeting
Mon, 04 November 2019: World Star Judging
Tue, 05 November 2019: Working Groups (+ Corporate Partners)
Wed, 06 November 2019: Conference
Thu, 07 November 2019: Board Meeting
Fri, 08 November 2019: Sightseeing

The registration form was sent (better than normal!). Please register soon! If you have any questions, just contact Barbara or me.

See you there! In Bali! Normally!

Johannes Bergmair
General Secretary

Barbara Zottl
WPO Secretariat

Special Article

A targeted shift towards Sustainable Packaging

By Nerida Kelton*

In September 2018 Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets were announced at a milestone industry event convened by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). These targets build on commitments made on 27 April 2018 by Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association to set a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste.

The 2025 National Packaging Targets are:

  • 100% of all Australia’s packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier.
  • 70% of Australia’s plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025.
  • 30% average recycled content will be included across all packaging by 2025.
  • Problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives.

With 2025 only six years away now is the time for your business to stop and re-evaluate current packaging designs and formats and develop a structured plan to ensure that all of packaging adheres to the sustainable targets.

As the peak professional body for packaging education and training in Australasia, WPO member, the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), is often asked to simply provide a list of the exact substrates and materials that should be selected for every product on the market to meet the sustainable packaging targets. The answer unfortunately is never that simple. When you sit down to re-design your packaging please make sure that your team are fully-informed and able to truly measure the reasons behind your decisions. Gather as much data as possible to be able to manage all expectations across your business and your supply chain.

We often remind packaging technologists and designers that the true role of packaging is its functionality. First and foremost, packaging is designed to ensure that a product is protected all the way across the supply chain until it is purchased by the consumer. This includes the vital role that packaging plays in ensuring the health and safety of the products and consumers, that product waste is kept to a minimum and the efficiency of the packaging can withstand the rigors of transport.

The functionality of the packaging cannot be ignored when re-designing your packaging to meet the Sustainability targets. ‘Sustainable Packaging’, in the simplest of terms, is packaging that performs the primary role of functionality but is also designed with the lowest possible environmental impact when compared to an existing or conventional pack. Finding the balance between functionality, commercial reality, consumer demands, and environmental criteria is the real challenge.

Existing Packaging

For existing packaging ask yourself what is the true purpose of the packaging you are currently using and then stop and re-evaluate whether the packaging can be improved and altered to either be reduced, reused or recycled. Challenge your design process and start incorporating the 2025 Targets in all of your packaging. Re-design your on-pack communication to demonstrate the changes and to enable customers to better understand what your business has done to adhere to the 2025 targets. When reviewing conventional packaging ask yourself whether the materials you are currently using are truly right for Sustainable Packaging and consider alternatives.

New Product Development

For all New Product Development (NPD), incorporating Sustainable Packaging Design from the beginning will be a much easier process and this should ultimately become a fundamental part of your packaging design. NPD is the perfect time to focus on the number one Waste Management Hierarchy item of REDUCE. Ask the question what can you do to reduce your packaging before it is even designed and manufactured? Is your business doing everything in its power to reduce as much packaging as possible from your primary, secondary and tertiary products?

Lifecycle Assessment Tools and Lifecycle Thinking

Incorporating Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Tools into your NPD process should be a consideration as LCA quantifies the environmental burdens associated with a product, process of activity over its entire lifecycle, from production of the raw material to disposal at End-of-Life. (as defined by INCPEN). Using LCA tools provides insight and better understanding of how to include Lifecycle Thinking into your packaging design processes and will help achieve the 2025 targets. Lifecycle Thinking also enables the team to determine whether the changes will have a greater or lesser environmental impact on other parts of your supply chain e.g. within transport, storage or disposal.   

Understanding Recycling Facility Capabilities

We would also recommend that you look at the End of Life (EoL) of your product, or the expected disposal option for your packaging when the customer/consumer has removed the product. APCO has developed the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP), which provides information to ensure that you are selecting the most appropriate packaging substrates that will actually be able to be reused, recycled or repurposed. The PREP tool is the starting point for the application of the new Australasian Recycle Label (ARL), which provides helpful and consistent on-pack information to the consumer on correctly disposing of the packaging items.

All manufacturers and their packaging teams have a responsibility to better understand the current recycling facilities and capabilities in this country, and those into which you may export your products, and ensure that your packaging is able to be sorted and processed through these systems.

A useful exercise is to take your designers, marketers and agencies down to the local Material Recycling Facilities (MRF) to see what happens to the packaging collected at kerbside. Also arrange with your suppliers to visit the paper, glass or plastics recycling facilities or review the RED Cycle program for soft plastics to really get a true view of what happens to your packaging at the End-of-Life. This exercise will ensure that the whole design team develops packaging that can be reused, recycled, composted or repurposed.

Auditing your Supply Chain partners

Are you manufacturing a new product with primary packaging that has been re-designed to meet the sustainable packaging targets only to find out your Supply Chain partners are incorporating non-recyclable materials in your secondary and tertiary packaging? Have you reviewed and audited your entire packaging supply chain? Are your partners working towards the same 2025 targets as you are, if not ask why?

There are so many decision points that need to be discussed when re-designing your packaging to meet the 2025 Sustainable targets and many I have not covered. A great place to start is by contacting the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) who are tasked by the Federal Government to ensure that the targets are achieved. APCO have developed a substantial amount of information tools, checklists and guidelines that will guide you through the process and will help you optimise packaging to make more efficient use of resources and reduce environmental impact without compromising product quality and safety.

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has a focus on educating industry and can work with your teams to better understand the challenges you will face with packaging re-design. The AIP’s ‘Introduction to Sustainable Packaging Design’ half-day training course, which incorporates a visit to a MRF, is a great way to shift your mindset. The Institute introduced the new training course in late 2018 and to date we have trained close to 600 people across Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. A new course will be available in the middle of 2019, which will be introducing ‘Lifecycle Assessment Tools for Sustainable Packaging Design’. 

Ultimately the goal is to achieve optimal outcomes for packaging functionality and to collectively meet the new 2025 National Packaging Targets. Start your 2025 Sustainable Packaging journey today by taking the first step…

*Nerida Kelton MAIP is Executive Director of Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and ANZ Board Member of WPO.


Electronic publication from WPO – World Packaging Organisation –

Coordination: WPO’s President: Mr. Pierre Pienaar / WPO’s General Secretary: Mr. Johannes Bergmair / ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association: Mrs. Luciana Pellegrino / Miss Isabella Salibe

Contribution: WPO Members

Publishing: ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association –

Responsible Editor: IPPO Member Liliam Benzi - Journalist Mtb 19.352 – Brazil –

Diagramming: Formato Editoração e Design - Mr. Saulo Pacheco

Photos: Contribution of WPO members