THE ICONIC Packaging: Sustainable Satchels

Leading Australian pureplay retailer, THE ICONIC launch a new eCommerce satchel, made not from a compostable material, but from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste.

Australian retailer THE ICONIC have announced the release of their new packaging, made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste. 

With reported annual sales of $370.5 million in 2018, this equates to millions of satchels sent by THE ICONIC which are now re-using materials rather than adding new plastic to the system. With the dual-functionality for returns, the satchels can also continue to be re-used for returning items.

Outside of this re-use for returns, the satchels can also have an extended life when recycled properly via REDcycle bins.

THE ICONIC Packaging- Returns Duel-Use
THE ICONIC Packaging- Returns Dual-Use

Post-consumer plastic waste satchel

Post-consumer plastic waste is recycled plastic that has had a previous life and can be recycled again. The importance of this material cannot be overlooked, these satchels are made from 100% recycled material, thus, re-using material otherwise destined for landfill.

The satchels are certified by the GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) Recycled Products Standard to verify their recycled content and ensure they meet specific social and environmental criteria. 

“Packaging is a huge part of our sustainability strategy, and after ​a twelve-month search, we’re incredibly proud ​to offer our customers and wider industry an improved satchel alternative. Made from 100% recycled materials, it’s a great feeling to know that our new ICONIC satchels have had a previous life, and will continue to do so when recycled properly via REDcycle bins”

Jaana Quaintance-James, Sustainability Lead, THE ICONIC. Source:
Plastic waste ready for inspection before being sent to Malaysia
Post-consumer plastic waste

Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO)

THE ICONIC has been a signatory of the Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO) since 2018, aligning with the APCO framework for sustainable packaging. 

This framework has created the structure for THE ICONIC to set five sustainable packaging targets to meet by 2022:

  1. 100% of THE ICONIC’s shipping packaging made of recycled content.
  2. 100% of THE ICONIC’s private label primary packaging materials will be fully recyclable in Australia
  3. 80% of THE ICONIC’s private label paper and cardboard packaging will be made from verified recycled pulp
  4. 80% of THE ICONIC’s private label will have on-package communication about their sustainability or recyclability
  5. 70% or more of THE ICONIC’s private label poly bags will be made of recycled plastic

With this new satchel being made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste, their first target has been reached well ahead of the 2022 target schedule.

THE ICONIC 2022 Sustainable Packaging Targets
THE ICONIC 2022 Sustainable Packaging Targets

THE ICONIC Packaging: Not Compostable

An interesting element from THE ICONIC’s announcement is the use of recycled plastic, rather than a compostable material which makes up much of the “sustainable” eCommerce satchel market currently.

Through the investigation and testing of various materials, including compostable satchels, THE ICONIC team felt the lack of access to home composting facilities was a key factor.

Without widely available home composting facilities, the team felt THE ICONIC packaging would likely still end up in landfill, or in the soft plastics recycling stream, compromising its potential for recycling. 

Complete information on THE ICONIC sustainable packaging strategy can be found at

Further Reading: Plastic vs Cardboard Packaging: A Complex Choice. Read More

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1 comment

  1. THE ICONIC’s claims are a farce – think about it…..the post consumer recycled material (PCR) comes back as a material that is when washed, pelletised etc. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a beautiful white exterior and black interior without adding colourant (masterbatch) – they will have added AT LEAST 15% Titanium Dioxide (white pigment) to get the pristine white finish (which they then print their logo on). So the absolute MAXIMUM claim that they can make is 85% PCR. Most companies selling PCR satchels claim a maximum of 80%.
    Once again, green washing overtakes the truth. It is very disappointing seeing a market leader make misleading claims. They will probably cry foul but where is their independent certification that the material is what is claimed.
    There is nothing wrong with claiming the truth. There is a big problem hoodwinking the consumer.

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