Packaging and plastic

In 2018, all state and federal governments set targets to reduce environmental impacts from product packaging. To be achieved by 2025, the targets include ensuring all packaging is 100 per cent recyclable or reusable, increasing the amount of recycled content used and phasing out single-use plastics. All our divisions have plans in place to meet the 2025 packaging targets and while some significant progress has been made, it remains a significant area of focus.

Some of the key initiatives undertaken during the year include:

Bunnings:

  • Bunnings is a signatory to the APCO and is committed to its target of 100 per cent sustainable packaging by 2025. During the year, Bunnings worked with suppliers to understand requirements to transition to sustainable packaging by 2025 and embedded the APCO’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines into its packaging guidelines and range review process.
  • Bunnings also introduced the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to several products to help customers better understand packaging recycling and will continue to implement the ARL to additional products next financial year.
  • In the next financial year, Bunnings will heighten its focus on waste reduction across the business through improved reporting and management of waste streams and diversion from landfill. The team will also continue efforts on collecting product packaging data for products sold across the network.

Kmart Group:

  • Kmart Group is focused on establishing the foundations required to improve the sustainability of its packaging by December 2023. Following the engagement of a packaging engineer, new sustainable packaging principles and standards have been developed that align with the APCO’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and the Australian Government’s 2025 goals and national waste policy. These will be implemented through new materials-focused cross-functional working groups and a Sustainable Packaging Program Manager role that has been created within Kmart Group’s sourcing operation.
  • While Kmart Group has been able to secure material details (type and weights) for approximately 73,000 products, packaging data along with limited options for recycling of soft plastics continues to be a challenge that has limited applications for the Australasian Recycling Label to approximately 300 products to-date.

Officeworks:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Industrial and Safety:

  • Blackwoods completed a packaging analysis on the majority of all own-brand products during the 2020 financial year. Blackwoods will focus on incremental improvements to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
  • Workwear Group’s warehouses use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved cardboard from its overseas suppliers and reuse boxes wherever possible. Any excess cardboard is recycled, diverting 336 tonnes from landfill. In addition, Workwear Group New Zealand has removed the use of full-sized shirt bags and replaced it with a recycled plastic sleeve, reducing raw material usage, while offering a more environmentally friendly option. Workwear Group has also removed the extra plastic clips and trims on its business shirts. This reduced plastic option will be standardised and 300,000 shirts per year will now have less plastic used in its presentation. Workwear Group will focus on finding solutions to garments at end of life, which will expand the current options of donating and repurposing.

GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 306-2