Procurement: a new front in the sustainability battle

The body tasked with delivering national packaging targets has released a resource to help local councils and government agencies increase their procurement of recycled material.

The targets, launched in 2018, aim to dramatically boost reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging and phase out single-use plastic by 2025.

Supporting government procurement of recycled material has been put together by co-regulatory Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) in consultation with local government peaks and state government agencies.

More than 1,500 Australian brands and organisation are signatories to the covenant, has been the principal national instrument to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging since 1999.

Organisations can and have been kicked out for not meeting their obligations, which include developing a packaging action plan.

Source: APCO

The report, published this month, sets out practical challenges procurement managers face along the procurement process and strategies to overcome them.

It includes information on how to get reliable information on products and materials and provides a range of resources and tools available on market, including the new Australian Circular Economy Hub platform, which was set to launch on November 24.  

The report also looks at the procurement supply chain and seeks to establish a strong business case for recycled content.

 “Government procurement of recycled content will play an important role in Australia’s ability to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets,” APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said in a statement.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans MP, said over the next ten years he wanted to see Australia become a “recycling powerhouse”.

“Everyone – governments of all levels, industry and consumers – has a role to play in making sure that this happens in Australia.”

The release of the guide comes ahead of the release of the government’s revised Sustainable Procurement Guide and updated Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

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