Australian packaging covenant

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

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

As a signatory to the Covenant, we publish annual action plans and reports with our commitments and progress, and conduct independent audits when required.

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.

In 2020, BAT globally announced ambitious targets to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025; and
  • Make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and contain an average 30% recycled content

As BAT works towards this goal globally, the majority of our SKUs in Australia are currently considered optimised for renewable and recycled content, as all cigarette packs contain renewable paper and cardboard, and all shippers into Australia contain 80% recycled content.

Business-to-business packaging is efficient, with shippers received in shipping containers on slip sheets only, then palletised when received - optimising the use of the incoming shipping container.

Shippers are then reused wherever possible to forward product in pallet loads to large retailers. Orders for smaller retailers are automatically assigned small or large cartons (containing 51% recycled content), based on the cubic size of stock required. Pallets are well optimised, with cartons stacked to the edge of the pallet and minimal pallet wrapping used.
The logistics contractor reuses CHEP pallets and recycles pallet wrap and cardboard, which are also reusable and recyclable when received by large retailers.

In addition, we:

  • Maintained our commitment to buy back recycled material through the purchase of recycled content stationery, a total of approximately 1.6 tonnes.
  • Worked with the voluntary Tobacco Industry Product Stewardship Group, alongside the other major tobacco companies to tackle the social and environmental impacts of tobacco product litter.
  • Continued to reduce single-use plastic and packaging waste within our own office operations
  • Continued to contribute to the QANTAS Future Planet carbon offset program through our logistics partner; and
  • Converted our staff fleet to hybrid vehicles, saving an estimated 539 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year compared to petrol vehicles.

For more information about our recent achievements and commitments under the Covenant, view our latest 2020 Australian Packaging Covenant Annual Report and 2021-23 Action Plan Commitment (2,934 kb) .

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

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