Packaging and plastic
In 2018, the federal and state 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 Wesfarmers divisions have plans in place to meet the 2025 packaging targets and while good progress has been made, it remains a significant area of focus.
Bunnings, Kmart Group, Officeworks, Blackwoods and Workwear Group are Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) signatories, and report in line with its targets annually.
Given the importance of accurate and consistent data to business decisions, government reporting and securing permission to use the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on product packaging, a significant program of work has been underway to develop, pilot and implement new data collection protocols and tools with suppliers. This has been aided by the appointment of a Sustainable Packaging Manager in Shanghai who leads our engagement of suppliers in the delivery of Kmart Group’s Sustainable Packaging Principles and Standards and delivery of packaging featuring the ARL.
Cross-functional working groups continue to provide input and direction to Kmart Group’s sustainable packaging journey.
With improved data collection systems coming online late in the financial year, approximately 2,000 Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) assessments were completed to add to the current 300 customers facing ARL approved products.
During the year, Bunnings focused on identifying opportunities for reduction and substitution of packaging across its product range. To help achieve this, an online portal was developed to capture baseline packaging data for Bunnings directly sourced products. In the coming financial year, the portal will be expanded to incorporate additional suppliers to Bunnings.
As a signatory to APCO, Bunnings is committed to its target of 100 per cent sustainable packaging by 2025. During the financial year, Bunnings continued to work with suppliers to understand requirements to transition to sustainable packaging by 2025 and incorporated APCO’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines into its packaging guidelines and range review process.
Bunnings also continued to include the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on packs to help customers better understand packaging recycling, with over 500 products now displaying ARL information. Bunnings will continue to work with suppliers to implement the ARL to additional products in the coming years.
The Officeworks Sustainable Packaging Policy outlines the expectations for their suppliers to follow, and product packaging reviews are integrated into the category range review process to identify packaging improvements. With over 6,400 own-brand products available, Officeworks’ initial priority is to ensure the packaging on those products is recyclable or reusable. As at 30 June 2021, 97 per cent of its own-brand products met this criteria.
During the year, Officeworks also continued to look at ways to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging and transition to plastic-free packaging where possible. By working with suppliers, it implemented solutions to avoid the annual equivalent of 6.7 million pieces of plastic, across primary and secondary packaging. Additionally, Officeworks has achieved the milestone of removing polystyrene from all own-brand products and has begun working with national and international branded suppliers to do the same.
GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 306-2