The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has launched its Food Services Packaging Sustainability Guidelines, which it says will help Australian food service businesses achieve the best sustainability outcomes for packaging.

Developed in consultation with government, the food services industry, waste handlers, composters and recyclers, academics, and community groups, the new guidelines provide a framework for implementing sustainable options for food packaging.

According to Brooke Donnelly, CEO of APCO, the report is designed through the lens of the waste hierarchy and uses a circular economic approach.

“Food service businesses are facing unprecedented pressure and confusion, as they navigate not only the growing consumer backlash against problematic and single-use plastics, but also a rapidly changing marketplace that’s inundated with new materials and disruptive models.

“We are delighted to be launching this new resource which will support those businesses that are considering more sustainable packaging, but don’t know where to start,” she said.

The guidelines were launched at the Australian Waste Recycling Expo, as part of a panel discussion on the Food Waste Stage comprising APCO sustainability manager Jayne Paramor; Barry Cosier, Australian Food & Grocery Council; Richard Fine, Biopak; Tom Lunn, Detmold Group; and Belinda Chellingworth from GPT Group.

“Sustainable packaging plays an important role in reducing food waste. We are pleased to be presenting a guide that will support a reduction in food waste going to landfill through more sustainable service ware choices,” said Donnelly.

The resource is available to download at It includes case studies from organisations including Qantas, City of Hobart, and Wollongong City Council. 

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