Reinventing the packaging wheel

Then to now

There’s no denying the amount of waste being produced is concerning, it’s time to take action.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but we’re taking our own trash and turning that into treasure as part of a complete packaging overhaul.

Producing and shipping a huge number of fragile products has traditionally led to a large amount of waste and, based on an initial assessment in 2021, the circularity of the existing packaging system was scored at 64%.

Over 1,500 tonnes of packaging was sent to landfill or recycled in FY23. This included over 1,000 tonnes of wood often only used once, and 64 tonnes of soft plastics (enough plastic to wrap 25% of the globe). Our aim is for our packaging to achieve a minimum 90% circularity score by 2025, so redesigning our current packaging system means looking for recyclable and reusable materials.

One step at a time

Our in-house plastic cleat/case system* has been developed and trialled for months, replacing the timber, cardboard and steel strapping and is made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic with fibreglass added for strength; an outer casing made from recycled soft plastics that is a reusable alternative to cardboard; and textile interleaving, end wraps and foam blocks made from waste carpet, clothing and industrial foam that replace single-use paper, bubble wrap and polystyrene.

The packaging redesign has required a significant financial investment and reverse logistics infrastructure to ensure used packaging materials are all collected. APL's parent company, Profile Group, are investigating a dedicated recovery centre, where all of the materials would be received, stored, sorted and distributed back to our production facility. 

“As a market leader, a big part of the motivation for this project is to do the right thing, and to be a business people are proud to be associated with and can learn from,” says Mikayla Plaw, Executive Director of Organisational Development and Sustainability.

We’re mid-way through trials of the new products and expect to roll out the full system in late 2024.

How we've changed the packaging process

A considered move from linear packaging, to a more sustainable and innovative circular packaging system

*the new case system is patent pending