TurOSI Embarks on Ambitious Sustainable Packaging Journey
TurOSI, the OSI joint venture in Australia, recently committed to meeting ambitious national sustainable packaging targets. By signing onto the Australia Packaging Covenant, TurOSI has agreed to work toward reducing packaging waste, increasing the amount of recyclable waste in necessary packaging, and finding more sustainable solutions to the industry challenge of minimizing environmental impacts without compromising food safety or quality.
"The scheme aligns with our own goals of reducing waste and minimizing negative impacts in our supply chain," said Brian Astridge, TurOSI's general manager, Technical Services. "Our key partners in our supply chain are also on board, so we are embarking on this journey with industry partnership and support."
The Covenant is tied to the Australian government's 2025 National Packaging Targets, which were established in 2018 to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging. The targets call for all packaging made, used or sold in Australia to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. They also call for the phasing out of "problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging," the recycling or composting of 70% of plastic packaging, and the use of recycled content in 50% of new packaging.
The nonprofit Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has been spearheading efforts to help government and businesses meet these targets. TurOSI is one of more than 1,500 businesses from across the packaging supply chain to have signed the Covenant, which offers signatories access to resources, expertise, and other support for rethinking approaches to packaging. All signatories must develop a yearly action plan and submit an annual report that tracks progress. “This is the first year TurOSI has collected this detailed data on all packaging used and the types of packaging used. It is fascinating to see where the opportunities are,” said Environmental Manager Zoe Marshall.
Currently, TurOSI is working with experts to devise a plan to develop alternatives to packaging used for transporting food products from its four manufacturing facilities to customers across the country.
While the entire plan is still taking shape, TurOSI has committed to a trial with a supplier that makes recyclable plastic packaging trays. When fully implemented, the trays will replace non-recyclable materials currently used to keep packaged products fresh.
"This scheme is already facilitating discussions around innovative new product development solutions for packaging with suppliers and customers," Brian said.
One of TurOSI’s key customers is on the board of APCO, which has helped the business with alignment on these packaging goals and facilitated collaboration in pursuit of innovative solutions to this national challenge.
Scaling Best Practices Beyond TurOSI’s Supply Chain
As TurOSI works to meet Australia's ambitious targets, the rest of OSI Group businesses will be watching with interest for lessons they can apply to their operations. All of our facilities are tasked with ensuring the custom food products we manufacture make it to their final destinations looking and tasting exactly as our customers specify, while meeting rigorous food safety standards — all with as little environmental impact as possible.
Meeting this challenge calls for creative alternatives to traditional packaging, especially in parts of the world that lack robust recycling infrastructure.
The solutions TurOSI develops to meet Australia's targets, therefore, could be helpful for all of us as we work together to reduce our footprint and achieve our own sustainability goals, including having landfill-free facilities by 2025.
All of us at OSI look forward to learning from their process.