24-25 Aug 2022

Seminar Program

24 - 25 Aug 2022
Check individual sessions
Check individual sessions
Free event

Returning to AWRE in 2022, the free-to-attend Seminar Program tackles the industry’s most challenging and compelling issues today and into the future, through a program of carefully curated seminars and panel discussions.

Covering critical topics impacting the future of waste and recycling in Australia, the AWRE Seminar Program will include discussions of key industry actions and insights from across policy & regulation, trends & insights to practical and tangible solutions from innovators shaping the future direction for Australia.


Wednesday 24 August

NSW EPA Seminar Theatre

Hotels, restaurants, food vendors and other businesses in the hospitality sector produce vast amounts of waste, including food waste, with much of it going to landfill.  In fact, the industry is one of the biggest food waste generators.  This session will look at opportunities for the industry to reduce food waste to landfill including management, technology, donations and more. 

The most innovative and intuitive Save Food Packaging uses design features that can contain & protect, preserve, extend shelf life, easily open and reseal, provide consumer convenience and portion control; all the while meeting global sustainable packaging targets.

Opportunities for packaging design to minimise food waste can include better facilitation or communication around portion control, date labelling, extension of shelf life, protection, resealability and openability, serving size, food safety/freshness information, information on storage options and improved communication on packs. The AIP has been working on guidelines that will help to design Save Food Packaging to minimise food waste from paddock to plate using innovative and intuitive design features and this session will showcase some award winning best practice examples of what good look like. Australia needs to build a sustainable food system that delivers food security, considers social, economic and environmental impacts and no longer sees food waste heading to landfill. This is where innovative Save Food Packaging (SFP) Design has a role to play within the Food System.

Comparing with business as usual processes, this seminar outlines the benefits of working with products and materials that have undergone a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) certification process, covering all aspects of waste streams and considering also the planning for the end use of a product. Additionally, the presentation takes a look at EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) to show how they can be used effectively to help produce the sustainability metrics for a project.

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has developed its annual Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to measure the state of packaging in Australia and track progress towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets. Now in its fourth year, the detailed document unpacks critical data including Australia’s latest packaging consumption rates, collection and recycling efficiency, and the uptake of recycled content and the phase out of single-use plastics.

During this session, APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly will provide an overview of the key takeaways and learnings from their MFA’s, including critical recycling trends year-on-year and a whole-of-system snapshot of Australia’s packaging system.

Since launching in 2018, the Australasian Recycling Label Program (ARL Program) has continued to go from strength to strength, welcoming hundreds of Members and enjoying international recognition as a best practice labelling program.

During this session, join the APCO team for a deep dive into the upcoming ARL SME Program, in which APCO and partners will work to support small and medium sized businesses to adopt the ARL on their packaging. Developed alongside key industry associations the Australian Institute of Packaging, the Australian Food & Grocery Council, and the National Retail Association, the Program is designed to help smaller businesses fulfil their responsibility to tell their customers how to recycle correctly – and help push Australia towards achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

The session will feature a dynamic panel discussion looking into the Program, outlining how the process will be made easy for small businesses to drive uptake of the ARL. This includes the upcoming launch of the ARL Marketplace, a new and simplified way for SMEs to purchase sustainable packaging that contains the ARL. Join the session to find out more, including how you can work with your supply chains and stakeholders to help facilitate ARL uptake and drive the development of a true circular economy for sustainable packaging.

It can be challenging for processors and Councils to identify an appropriate procurement strategy for the development of any facility, particularly when volumes of feedstock tonnes are not guaranteed. DBOM, D&D, EPC, DCMO, PPP are all buzzwords in the procurement space but what do they all mean?
The upcoming release of the EPA’s organics mandates means that Councils and organics processors will need to address the significant operational and financial hurdles to achieve the “best” solution for processing FOGO, with many new and upgraded facilities expected to be tendered ahead of 2030.

This session aims to explore how both Councils and processors can best approach the development of FOGO processing facilities in NSW and be better prepared to negotiate the myriad of decisions that need to be made along this exciting journey.

Theatre 2

Valuing materials used in the built environment is critical to the transition to a circular economy in Australia. With some 27 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste generated in 2018-2019, there is significant opportunity to address CE Principle 2 - Keep products and materials in use through material recovery and recycling. But what tools are available to address other CE Principles - design out waste and pollution, and regenerating natural systems?

In this session, Planet Ark’s Australian Circular Economy Hub invites experts to share insights into the opportunities that exist for recovered materials to make their way into design, increasing materials value, and importantly increasing savings and reducing virgin material consumption.

A discussion on the key issues, barriers, opportunities and solutions surrounding commercial furniture waste. Learn more about the National Furniture Product Stewardship program, (through governments National Product Stewardship Fund) and other initiatives, that you too can get involved in, that aim to minimise furniture waste ending up in landfill.

DriveRisk Australasia specialise in driver behaviour change and risk mitigation. We are the exclusive partner for the Lytx DriveCam™ Driver Safety Program. Our world leading driver safety technology uses Machine Vision + Artificial Intelligence (MV+AI) advanced video telematics directly detecting risky behaviours that cause accidents. Once detected our program eliminates risky behaviour.

Governments at all levels are in a strategic position to jumpstart Australia’s recycling and remanufacturing industries by signaling baseline demand for products with recycled content. This not only creates a favourable environment for industry to invest in capacity-building and innovative technologies, but it also stabilises the cost of council recycling services by increasing the value of kerbside materials. This session explores leading local and state government procurement and contract models, sustainable procurement guidelines, industry perspective on what governments should be doing, and a sneak peek at the some of the big-ticket items that will drive markets.

There are many small business waste and recycling operators that form the back bone of the Australian waste management sector. In providing these waste management services, operators face many complex compliance challenges along with decision makers seeking larger volume, low-priced deals. This session will explore some of the challenges and opportunities faced by small operators along with the support provided by the NSW Government.

Thursday 25 August

NSW EPA Seminar Theatre

The 2025 National Packaging Targets provide a framework for collective, national action on waste management, recycling and resource recovery for our product packaging. One of the four Targets, ‘50% average recycled content in all packaging’ is critical to creating demand for recycled content in packaging.

During this session join the APCO team to learn about APCO’s Recycled Content Program and the range of priority projects APCO is delivering to support the uptake of recycled content in Australia. This session will cover the key strategies and mutually reinforcing activities that are needed for Australia to reach the 50% target - and how every player in the packaging supply chain, from producers and manufacturers to councils and consumers, has a role to play.

Speakers will take a deep dive into APCO’s Pledge Program, which aims to drive greater uptake of recycled content in packaging and signal demand for recycled materials to help drive investment in reprocessing. Modelled on similar programs in Europe, participating brands will publicly pledge the volumes of specific materials that they will transition from virgin materials to recycled materials by 2025.

Each year, Australians waste around 7.3 million tonnes of food – this wastage equals about 300kg per person and costs the economy around $20 billion each year.  Much of that food waste ends up in landfill.   This session will look at the education and awareness about food waste, why it should go in your green bin and what happens to it 

The purpose of this session is to discuss how companies can integrate Sustainable Packaging Design into the right business areas, to achieve the optimal outcomes for packaging functionality and to collectively work to meet local and regional government regulations such as the 2025 National Packaging Targets, the Plastics plan, Single Use Plastics (SUP) Regulations and more.

This session will help you to understand how to start applying Sustainable Packaging Design in your business and will enable attendees to gain a better understanding of how using and applying packaging design principles can help any sized business to lower their environmental impacts, reduce packaging and products waste and meet regulations. The session will also include Best Practice Examples from across the Globe in Sustainable & Circular Packaging Design.

Theatre 2

In recent years, we have had numerous major incidents to deal with across the east coast of Australia. What are some of the lessons learned. What can governments do better to support essential nature of waste management services? A good start would be to regulate for waste management to be a critical, essential service.

As Australia transitions to a circular economy, its legislative and regulatory framework should enable – rather than constrain – policy aspirations by equipping industry and local government to respond agilely to a changing environment that is rapidly rendering conventional approaches outdated. From the export bans to the definition of ‘waste’, product stewardship to recyclability labelling, a panel of experts in law, waste and resource recovery, industry and local government discuss key – and achievable – reforms necessary to unlock Australia’s economic potential while ensuring environmental protection.

N.B. Program subject to change

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