Australian packaging covenant

British American Tobacco Australia is a proud signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), a co-regulatory agreement between business and government to manage the environmental impacts of packaging in Australia.

At BAT Australia, we are committed to address the environmental impacts of our packaging as company that owns consumer brand and products. Through our Environmental Policy we are also committed to “integrate sustainable packaging principles into our product design.”

Therefore, as a signatory to the Covenant we are required to:

  1. Submit an Action Plan that sets out what packaging sustainability commitments we propose to undertake to align with the goals of the Covenant
  2. Submit an Annual Report that outlines our performance against our Action Plan commitments (by 31 March each year)
  3. Publish our Action Plan and Annual Reports on our company website in a readily identifiable way
  4. Pay an annual membership fee based on our annual turnover
  5. Allow independent audits, when required, of Annual Reports and the implementation of Action Plans, including allowing access to relevant supporting documentation demonstrating application of the Covenant’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
  6. Assist the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), if required, to respond to complaints from the public about the design and use of our packaging


It should be noted that we face restrictions on our ability to influence packaging design in Australia, due to both the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Cth), and the fact that many packaging decisions are made above market by our parent company.

Understanding this context, we are please to share the following achievements in 2018:

  • 92% of our SKUs have packaging which is already optimised for renewable content, given the cardboard and paper component of cigarette packs
  • Our packaging has been reviewed against the Covenant’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, as well as the International Standard 180602 for packaging optimisation, to understand opportunities to improve packaging efficiency
  • We have established a baseline for packaging optimisation, and a number of initiatives are underway to further reduce packaging weight and volume through our Regional Centre for Packaging
  • We are improving business-to-business packaging used to transport our product to retailers, featuring reusable pallets and 50% recycled content cardboard shippers
  • BAT is proud to support markets for recycled materials by ‘buying back’ recycled content stationery, paper and business cards – with over 4 tonnes of recycled content purchased in 2018
  • We achieved a 61% office recycling rate in 2018, as part of our best-practice recycling systems. Our systems divert waste from landfill for materials such as packaging containers, paper, cardboard, secure documents and food waste; and
  • Continuing to work with other major tobacco companies in Australia as a voluntary member of the Tobacco Industry Product Stewardship Group, to address the environmental impacts of tobacco product.


For more information about our recent achievements and commitments under the Covenant, view our latest 2018 Australian Packaging Covenant Annual Report and 2019 Commitment (621 kb) .

More information on the Australian Packaging Covenant can be found at www.packagingcovenant.org.au .

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