The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Australasia’s packaging training and education body the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP).

The strategic move will help strengthen the packaging industry in both Australia and New Zealand.

It will also allow the APCO and AIP to promote a circular economy for packaging in the region.

As part of this agreement, the APCO and the AIP will work together to improve the knowledge and adoption of sustainable packaging practices throughout the industry in the Australia and New Zealand regions.

The joint effort will involve providing proof points for the sustainability professionals related to their packaging and sustainability credentials.

These proof points will be delivered via AIP facilitation, as well as through various focused educational courses that will be provided to regional industry partners by the APCO in 2024.

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APCO Communications and Engagement head Chloe Rose said: “It’s important that sustainability professionals can provide proof points on their expertise in packaging recyclability.

“This is an especially important step for organisations who need guidance on who has the knowledge, skills and experience in assessing recycled content in packaging. We are very pleased to be able to offer this APCO capability evidence to the industry.”

The APCO’s courses will primarily focus on honing the skill levels of industry partners and help them in understanding the existing concepts of the APCO and topics related to packaging sustainability, including the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) programme.

The APCO also released its ARL Consumer Insights Report for financial year 2023.

AIP executive director Nerida Kelton said: “After serving the industry for 60 years this agreement not only highlights our commitment to education but also signifies a pivotal step toward a more sustainable circular economy for Australasian packaging.

“Together, AIP and APCO aim to elevate packaging knowledge and training and improve core technical competencies across the industry. This will drive positive change and set new standards for designing better packaging for the region.”