The Packaging Challenge: Towards packaging waste circularity solutions for the cleaning & hygiene industry

Hosted by Accord Australasia, the peak body for the hygiene, personal care and specialty products industry.

MC: Craig Brock, Director, Policy and Public Affairs – Accord Australasia

The packaging space in Australia is abuzz. We have National Packaging Targets. A National Plastics Plan. And states and territories have their eyes firmly fixed on ‘problematic plastic packaging’.

How is your business responding to these developments? In what future directions will we be expected to head? Are you worried that all forms of plastics may be on the hit list or simply that the changes are coming too fast to keep up with?

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of cleaning and hygiene. But companies in this product space have another opportunity to stand out as examples of proactive and responsible product stewardship through the packaging choices they make. And these will influence customers.

The Packaging Challenge is a sector-specific deep-dive into this highly topical sustainability issue for the cleaning and hygiene products industry.

In this special workshop you will:

  • gain unique insights into the cleaning and hygiene sector’s current packaging use,
  • hear about proposed industry-led initiatives to drive packaging sustainability improvements for the cleaning and hygiene products industry,
  • get insider knowledge on the place of recycling in a circular economy for packaging waste,
  • learn from experts across the packaging supply chain on innovations for circularity, including through packaging design, materials and feedstock choices
  • hear packaging case studies from those in the supply chain, including raw material suppliers, and
  • learn how to communicate your achievements in sustainable packaging.


Event Sponsor:


  • $160pp for ISSA and Accord Members
  • $235pp for non-members



Workshop Sessions:



Session Overview

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to packaging waste management

Accord has been busy gathering data on the packaging use and practices of the cleaning and hygiene products sector. We are using this to inform our advocacy to governments on this important issue and as we consider what industry-led stewardship models could apply. In this presentation, you will gain unique insights into the cleaning and hygiene sector’s packaging use, hear what Accord is doing to promote the positive steps already taken by our sector to governments and learn about proposed industry-led initiatives to drive further packaging sustainability improvements for the cleaning and hygiene products industry.

Delivered by: Jennifer Semple, Manager, Sustainability & Education Programs, Accord Australasia

Jen Semple supports Accord’s communications, public affairs, innovation and sustainability initiatives. She is actively involved in Accord’s packaging work, including compiling data-based insights on industry’s packaging practices and involvement in industry-led initiatives to drive packaging sustainability improvements.

Jen is a science communicator who unites experience as a research chemist with a passion for science education. Her qualifications include a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of New England. Her work experience includes positions as a Research Associate at the University of NSW and a post-doctoral Research Officer with the University of Sydney. Prior to joining Accord, Jen commenced building her career as a science communicator through freelance writing for Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

Sustainable Packaging – Designing for a Circular Economy

Plastic waste is fast becoming the sustainability issue of our time. While the many benefits of plastic have made it an integral part of our everyday lives, especially as a packaging material, there is a growing problem of waste plastic entering the environment.

At Dow we believe plastic is too valuable a resource to be thrown away or lost to landfill. In this presentation we will highlight some of the ways we are accelerating the move from a linear economy, where goods are made, used and disposed, to a circular economy, where the value of plastic is retained and used again. New developments in designing products for recyclability, incorporation of recycled content and the use of sustainable feedstocks will be addressed.

Delivered by James Wiltshire, Technology & Sustainability Leader, Dow Australia & New Zealand

James Wiltshire is currently the Technology & Sustainability Leader for Dow in Australia & New Zealand. He is responsible for driving innovation and collaboration with customers and partners across Dow’s portfolio of specialty chemicals and materials, leading programs in ANZ aligned to Dow’s 2025 sustainability goals and managing new business development opportunities.

Prior to joining Dow in 2010, James was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he worked on the development of synthetic polymer processing aids for the mining industry. James holds a PhD in Polymer Science from the University of Melbourne.

Case Study: Re-usable containers for industrial chemicals

Albright & Wilson (Australia) has been manufacturing surfactant and phosphate chemicals in Australia since 1939. Over the decades Albright & Wilson has pioneered re-use of packaging for liquid products.

This case study will cover our history of re-usable packaging and how the market has changed in the past 20 years. The focus will be on how Albright & Wilson’s strategy will meet the requirements of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Delivered by John O’Donnell, Technical Manager, Albright & Wilson Australia

John O’Donnell is an Industrial Chemistry professional with over 40 years’ experience in chemical, detergent, cosmetic and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Australia. He has worked mainly in Product Development and Quality Assurance. Having worked for over 10 years at Albright & Wilson he has in-depth understanding of the whole chemical supply chain process and the important role of packaging.

John is a Past President of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists and served as a Councillor for over 20 years. He authored a position paper on the Packaging of Cosmetics and Toiletries in Australia. John has served on Technical Committees for the ASCC, Accord and the PMAA (now known as ASMI).

Why are recycling and circular economy ‘the new black’?

The packaging and recycling landscape has dramatically changed in such a short period. How is this change manifesting across government, business and the broader community? What are the drivers of this change?

This presentation will explore what a circular economy means in terms of value, what is needed to transition to a circular economy for packaging, the place of recycling within this system and the important role that businesses business play.

Delivered by Peter Tamblyn, Chairman, Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR)

Peter joined the ACOR Board in 2015 representing Close the Loop Ltd (CtL).  CtL’s commitment to the resource recovery, product stewardship, recycling and circular economy sectors extends back to 2001 and since 2014 has become a recognised leader in the development of innovative additives using recycled polymers in asphalt to make high performance roads.  Peter joined CtL in May 2014 as Director of Sales & Marketing and from July 1st 2021, consults to CtL on sales, business and customer engagement strategy.

Elected Chairman of ACOR in 2019, he has overseen seismic changes in the landscape of recycling and circular economic strategies.  We have seen all Australian governments develop and implement circular economy policy frameworks over the past three years and the recycling and re-manufacturing sector is now a key pillar in the Federal Government’s post-COVID plans for Australia’s economic recovery.

Standing out on sustainability

In this session, Ashleigh Gay will share practical ways to engage your people and customers on sustainability. She will share common barriers we face in communicating about sustainability, case studies from organisations around the world who get it right and tips and tricks to help you stand out in the decade of action.

Delivered by Ashleigh Gay, Head of Sustainability Leadership & Communications, Edge Environment

With over a decade’s experience in sustainability strategy, reporting and communications, Ashleigh helps organisations define their sustainability ambitions and bring them to life, to create the next wave of sustainability leaders.

Ashleigh brings her experience working with some of the world’s most ambitious sustainability teams across the UK, Europe, US and Australia including LEGO, Google, BP, VF Corporation, Mondi, Lloyds Banking Group, Maersk, Beiersdorf, Bank Australia, BINGO Industries, Goodman Fielder and many more.

She specialises in taking the complexity out of sustainability, finding common ground between stakeholders and equipping people with the skills and capabilities to accelerate and mainstream sustainable change.

Prior to consulting, Ash worked for a leading building products supplier, was on the board of Responsiblesteel and guest lectured at UNSW. Ashleigh is a published author and has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Built Environments.

The value of sustainable business practices to your business

The world has changed. Now, more than ever, businesses need to look at sustainable business practices. This means looking at your entire operations from sourcing to production, manufacturing to machinery and equipment, solar usage on your warehouse and offices to water and energy usage in the plant.

This presentation will cover whether your primary, secondary and tertiary packaging is sustainable, recoverable, circular and recyclable. It is time to rethink packaging design, design out waste, harness new technologies and materials and make sure that the packaging is reused, repaired and recycled.

This presentation will also discuss the important role of the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2025 National Packaging Targets and the ANZPAC Plastics Pact.

Who should attend?

Whether you are a sustainability trailblazer, have already commenced on the journey to packaging sustainability or are a newcomer to the packaging sustainability space, The Packaging Challenge is a must-attend add-on to the ISSA Expo.

Attention product manufacturers and suppliers, raw material suppliers, packaging and sustainability professionals, product purchasers and facilities managers—indeed, anyone involved with packaging decision-making or who is interested in the packaging landscape in Australia—this workshop is for you.

Thursday, 15th September
9:30 am — 12:00 pm

Conference Education Hall

Craig Brock – Accord Australasia, Jennifer Semple – Accord Australasia, James Wiltshire – Dow Australia & New Zealand, John O’Donnell – Albright & Wilson Australia, Peter Tamblyn – Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), Ashleigh Gay – Edge Environment