03.Frequently Asked Questions
What is the problem with packaging?
CHOICE is focusing on packaging that is difficult to access - from hard plastic "clamshell" packaging that needs scissors or a knife in order to open it to vacuum-sealed jars that need to be opened with a special tool. Bad packaging can cause injury and is even worse for elderly people and people with a disability like arthritis who have reduced hand strength.
Why do you want people to send you examples of bad packaging?
When you send us your examples we will make a complaint where possible to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) which will seek a response from the manufacturer of the product. Please note that if the manufacturer is not an APC member, the APC is not in a position to seek a response. CHOICE will endeavour to raise a complaint with a manufacturer directly if it is not a signatory to the APC, but we will only be able to do so where we have sufficient information, and we can’t guarantee a response.
How can I send you my examples of bad packaging?
You can send your photos and descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you’ve held on to the offending packaging, mail it to 57 Carrington Road, Marrickville NSW 2204. You can also share using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What is the Australian Packaging Covenant?
The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a commitment by government and industry to the sustainable design, use and recovery of packaging. It is responsible for the Packaging Line, which provides consumers with a mechanism to make enquiries and complaints and receive advice and help about the consumer packaging of APC signatories.
Why are you targeting manufacturers?
We think companies wouldn’t want their customers to have difficulty accessing their products because of bad packaging – but they might not know there is a problem. By targeting the manufacturers through the Australian Packaging Covenant, we can help consumers alert these companies to the problem and hopefully encourage them to change to more accessible packaging.
I sent an example but have not received a response from the manufacturer.
The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) Packaging Line states that it will report back to any complaints about packaging within three working days, and if the matter relates directly to a signatory there will be a response within 20 working days. However, not all manufacturers are signatories to the APC and it will only seek responses from its signatories. Where possible, CHOICE will endeavour to raise a complaint with a manufacturer directly if it is not a signatory to the APC, but we will only be able to do so where we have sufficient information, and we can’t guarantee a response.
Do I have to send my product to CHOICE? Can’t I just make my own complaint to the Packaging Line?
Of course you can – but we’d love you to let us know if you do so we can include your example in our campaign. You can contact the Packaging Line directly by:
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: PO Box 346, Gordon NSW 2072
- Phone: 1300 30 80 30 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
What about excessive packaging?
CHOICE’s Pack Attack campaign focuses on the problem of packaging that is difficult to access. However, we recognise that excessive packaging is also a big issue. If you have examples of wasteful packaging, please feel free to share them with us and we’ll send them on to the Packaging Line. You can also contact the Australian Packaging Covenant directly by: