The Banksia Foundation has announced the shortlist for this year’s awards, which spans 10 categories and celebrates sustainable development by businesses, communities, individuals, and governments.

Among the impressive crop of finalists are some notable names doing great things in the packaging space.

First up, under the Medium Business category, BioPak made the shortlist for its collaborative work with Woolworths, Aldi and Big W, along with other businesses in their supply chains, to create a range of plastic packaging alternatives made from sugarcane pulp.

The BioCane range presents an opportunity to combat the national recycling crisis and looming climate emergency Australia faces. Its work supports SDGs 9, 12 and 17.

Also making the list is the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) program, which is an on-pack labelling scheme that helps consumers to recycle correctly and supports brand owners to accurately design, assess and label packaging for recyclability.

Named in the NFP/NGO category, the program was launched in 2018 following a collaboration between Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Planet Ark and PREP Design.

The ARL program aims to change behaviour change that will underpin how our community interacts with packaging for years to come. It supports SDGs 12 and 17.

“After what has been an extremely challenging year, we are keen to celebrate those who are striving to make positive change,” says Graz van Egmond, Banksia Foundation CEO.

“Our judges were blown away by the quality of the entries. Despite COVID-19, change-makers across Australia are innovating and collaborating to do their bit to improve life on the planet.”

Among the 33 finalists named, reducing waste, repurposing goods, and closing loops have emerged as key themes among their ambitions.

The winners in each category, including the overall Gold Award and a special Minister for the Environment award, will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 24 March.

Food & Drink Business

The Victorian Supreme Court has ruled Bega Cheese is permitted to use the Bega trademark on products outside the scope of the licence Fonterra has for Bega branded cheese and butter products.

Maggie Beer Holdings reported record sales in 1H21, with net sales up 28.6 per cent on the prior comparative period. Cheese was the standout, up 76 per cent pcp.

Patties Foods will sell its two Victorian manufacturing plants in a sale-and-leaseback offering, it announced this week. It anticipates raising around $130 million from the sales.