Australian Packaging Covenant & Used Packaging Materials NEPM
Used Packaging Materials NEPM
The goal of the Used Packaging Materials NEPM is to reduce environmental degradation arising from the disposal of used packaging and conserve virgin materials through the encouragement of re-use and recycling of used packaging materials by supporting and complementing the voluntary strategies in the Australian Packaging Covenant (Covenant).
The Covenant aims to ensure that all involved in the packaging chain play their part in reducing packaging waste. The NEPM ensures that participants in the Covenant are not unfairly disadvantaged in the market place.
The Australian Packaging Covenant replaces the National Packaging Covenant which expired on 30 June 2010. In addition to clear goals for design, recycling and product stewardship, the new Covenant provides an increased focus on workplace and public place recycling and litter reduction programs. It provides a significantly reduced administrative burden on signatories, and strengthened governance and compliance procedures. The new Covenant and its accompanying Decision Regulatory Impact Statement may be downloaded below.
An important element of the Covenant is the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, developed to assist Covenant signatories and others to review and optimise consumer packaging to make efficient use of resources and reduce environmental impact without compromising product quality and safety. The Guidelines may be downloaded below.
Information about the implementation of the Used Packaging Materials NEPM can be found in NEPC Annual Reports.
Commencement of the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011
In late 2010, administrative issues were identified with the registration of the 2005 and 2010 Minor Variations to the Used Packaging Materials NEPM which could call into question the validity of the NEPM. In order to put the question of the validity beyond doubt and provide certainty to the packaging industry, the Used Packaging Materials NEPM has been remade to ensure the Used Packaging Materials NEPM continues to provide the regulatory underpinning for the Covenant is key to providing national consistency in regulatory support.
Two submissions were received in response to the release of the draft Used Packaging Materials NEPM and Impact Statement. In response to the submissions received, in particular that of the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, revisions were made to the draft Used Packaging Materials NEPM and Impact Statement. This principally involved aligning the definition of 'consumer packaging' in the Used Packaging Materials NEPM and the Australian Packaging Covenant.
The Used Packaging Materials NEPM is taken to have commenced on 15 July 2005. Commencing the Used Packaging Materials NEPM retrospectively will clarify its applicability from 15 July 2005.
The Used Packaging Materials NEPM 2011 was registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI) on Thursday, 20 October 2011. A notice appeared in the Commonwealth Government Gazette on Wednesday, 26 October 2011.
For further information on the Used Packaging Materials NEPM, please contact the Secretariat on (02) 6274 1819 or SCEW.Secretariat@environment.gov.au