Australia's 2025 Packaging Targets

Back in 2018

A few forward-thinking politicians agreed that 100% of Australia’s packaging should be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.

Let’s hear that re-cap.

As a result, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has been tasked with delivering the following targets by no later than 2025:


These targets will apply to all packaging made, used and sold in Australia.

 The stats in Australia:

  • 5.5 million tonnes of packaging is currently available to be sold every year
  • 88% of this is recyclable (that is 4.8 million tonnes), but actually;
  • Only 49% IS currently being recycled (i.e ONLY 2.6/5.5 million tonnes!).

What this means:

Every. Single. Year. Roughly 3 million tonnes of packaging that COULD have been recycled ends up going to landfill or littering our oceans and waterways.  Compound that yearly and we have a PROBLEM (to put it lightly).

Why tho?

A few key reasons:

  1. Some packaging is not recyclable by design– about 12% of the 5.5 million tonnes of packaging is simply not recyclable.
  1. Other packaging is simply not collected for recycling – about 32% of the packaging that is recyclable is not correctly disposed of to enable recycling.
  1. Then there is an amount that is just lost in the recovery process – about 18%!

The verdict on the targets?

It is clear from the ugly stats above that we require a complete overhaul of packaging creation, collection and recovery which has now been triggered as a result of these targets.

Here at Rethink we are super keen to see local council support an investment in waste infrastructure particularly within the composting space.

A new term you might want to get acquainted with is FOGO collection services, which stands for ‘Food Organics Garden Organics' and it involves councils taking those waste streams and introducing a composting operation to turn them into a nutrient-rich product (hop over to our composting blogs to see why this is so amazing).

As a start, check if your council is FOGO ready and if you can start to divert your organic waste from landfill TODAY! If not, that's ok, you have options to either start composting yourself or partner up with your neighbors/friends who do compost and would love to have your food scraps (check out sharewaste for more on this).

We’ll do some more posts on this in the coming months so watch this space!

Overall a great mandatory target to work towards, with some heavy lifting to be done by Governments, Businesses and Consumers. Change is never the path of least resistance but it's always a worthwhile road! 



Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation. “Australia's 2025 National Packaging Targets.” ApcoWeb