Officeworks - Reducing impacts from product packaging

Designing packaging that is fit for purpose, easily recyclable, preferencing renewable and recycled materials and removing or avoiding unnecessary materials, reduces the environmental impact and provides a better customer experience. 

During the 2020 financial year, Officeworks continued to integrate sustainable packaging principles into its product strategy, sourcing and packaging design process, known as category range reviews. By addressing packaging issues through the range review process, a holistic review of each category is undertaken to identify opportunities for packaging to be redesigned in the most sustainable way. At the same time, Officeworks has continued to work with suppliers to address short-term opportunities. 

Through the range review process, Officeworks redesigned packaging across selected furniture items to replace polystyrene with cardboard, improving the recyclability of packaging. A similar approach was taken with shredders that resulted in over 56,000 pieces of polystyrene being avoided annually.  

Acknowledging that consumer education is a critical factor to ensuring packaging is disposed of correctly, Officeworks continued to implement the Australasian Recycling Label on all new private label packaging, which now features on over 4,000 products. To encourage the recyclability of soft plastics, Officeworks became a member of RedCycle to raise awareness of collection points on product packaging.

Officeworks has continued to focus on reducing secondary packaging where possible, including optimising the carton quantities for large seasonal orders, which resulted in the avoidance of 40 tonnes of cardboard, or 218,000 boxes. While improvements have been made to packaging for online orders, Officeworks acknowledges there is more work to do, the nature of which is made more complex due to systems and product data.

Officeworks is committed to contributing to a more circular economy and will continue to focus on reducing impacts caused by primary and secondary packaging across all products sold.