100% recyclable packaging for Telstra branded products: we did it

We set ourselves big goals. One of which was to make sure all of our Telstra-branded packaging would be 100% recyclable by the start of 2023. We worked hard, and we got there two months ahead of schedule.
Telstra Sustainability Team · 01 July 2023 · 2 minute read

The ‘circular economy’ has arrived. It’s all about reducing the dependence on so-called virgin material and instead creating new stuff out of old stuff. Moreover, it’s about doing it so that they can be recycled and used again and again. 

The goal is to close the loop, reduce waste in landfills and the need for raw virgin material. Ultimately, we’re looking to make small changes with big impacts on the environment. One such change is our packaging.

We’re committed to optimising the resources we use, reducing consumption and waste across our business, and investing in circular solutions that are designed to be sustainable across their lifecycle. 

To achieve these goals, we focussed on:

  • Creating solutions that increase the average percentage of recycled content and optimising device protection in the supply chain
  • Providing our customers with convenient reuse and recycling options for their devices
  • Using more sustainable Telstra branded packaging by reducing plastic and further optimising material usage
  • Review ink systems and ink coverage to extend material recovery opportunities
  • Continue to improve our customers understanding of sustainability and how to easily recycle Telstra branded packaging.

On 1 November 2022, we are proud to have announced that we achieved our target for 100% of Telstra-branded packaging to be made of renewable or recycled materials and be fully recyclable – two months ahead of schedule. 

Ninety-five of Telstra’s products (or 100% of our Telstra-branded products) are now in fully recyclable packaging. Our repackaging efforts have garnered us 11 industry awards, including the Telecommunications Industry award from Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). 

Recycling at home

In order to improve the recyclability of our products we used plain brown Kraft Board, which look like a branded cardboard box. 

The packaging includes:

  • Kraft Board exteriors that are instantly recognisable as recyclable and encourage consumers to focus on kerbside recycling
  • Zero plastics. Hard plastics have been replaced with fibreboard, plastic bags with tissue paper, cable ties with fixed Velcro ties, and plastic stickers with paper
  • Water-based inks and aqueous varnishes. This means there won’t be any chemicals restricting the recyclability of the cardboard
  • An Australasian Recycle Logo – which helps customers know how to do their part by recycling safely.

An example of this is the Telstra sustainable packaging accessories range where:

  • The individual packaging component count was reduced from between 11 & 17 components to between 1 & 4
  • We reduced the packaging material weight from an average of 70g to 30g per unit
  • We provided information for the consumer on how to recycle Telstra-branded packaging
  • We improved retail display and allow for instore anti-theft without impacting branding.

We also worked really hard to reduce and where possible remove soft plastics in our pre-paid mobile phones where:

  • For devices and components that required additional protection, paper has replaced the soft plastic materials
  • A reconfiguration of the packing component enabled superfluous packaging to be removed
  • Internal packaging components have been reduced from 4 soft plastic wraps to 2 paper wraps.

More sustainable packaging is just one part of Telstra’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future by using resources more efficiently and supporting a circular economy.

You can read more on our progress here.


By Telstra Sustainability Team

Telstra Sustainability Team

Formed in 2011, the Telstra Sustainability Team is responsible for championing and embedding sustainability principles across Telstra, managing the risks and opportunities related to current and emerging sustainability issues, and working with the business to deliver social and environmental programs and outcomes for our customers and communities. The team also oversees the implementation of the Responsible Business Strategy, working closely with the business to ensure key targets and performance indicators are met. For more information about sustainability at Telstra, get in touch at sustainability@team.telstra.com.

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