Investment Support Grant – Packaging Round 2

Last updated: 6 April 2022
Status: Applications closed
Closing date: Thursday 30 September 2021, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Between $10,000 and $50,000 per project


Available to: Businesses, Social enterprises, Not-for-profit organisations

The Investment Support Grant – Packaging (ISGP) supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Not for Profits (NFPs) and social enterprises to pursue packaging waste reduction or recovery opportunities.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, 30 September 2021. Late applications will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

This grant is part of the Recycling Victoria policy funding.

Fund recipients

Successful applicants were announced in December 2021. View the list of fund recipients.

Information bulletin

Read the Information bulletin.

1. Fund overview

1.1 Fund objectives

The fund objective is to support businesses and organisations that generate, recover or reuse packaging waste to transition to more circular business models or activities.

The fund supports purchasing of equipment and infrastructure to enable and accelerate the diversion of packaging waste from landfill. The fund will preference projects that create new products using packaging waste.

Projects must meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • Reduce generation of packaging waste.
  • Increase or improve recovery of packaging waste.
  • Manufacture packaging using recovered materials.
  • Manufacture new products using packaging waste.

The fund aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • 6,000 tonnes of packaging waste diverted from landfill
  • 30 new full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs created
  • at least 50% of grantees produce new products using packaging waste.

1.2 Funding available

Grants of between $10,000 and $50,000 are available per project.

1.3 Co-contribution

Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $1 funded. This co-contribution can be either financial (cash) or in-kind.

For SMEs at least 75% of co-contribution must be in cash.

For example, if your grant request is $10,000, you must contribute at least $7,500 in cash and the remaining $2,500 can be in-kind.

For NFP and social enterprise at least 50% of the co-contribution must be in cash.

For example, if your grant request is $10,000, you must contribute at least $5,000 in cash and the remaining $5,000 can be in-kind.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply

Eligible organisations are:

  • Small to medium enterprise (SMEs) with under 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • Not-for-profit organisations
  • Social enterprises

Applicants must:

  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been operating for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date (to be validated by the date that the organisation’s ABN is active from)
  • meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements
  • agree to comply with the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
  • agree to comply with the funding terms and conditions:

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. Although you can apply for more than one grant for a project, you can only receive one grant. If you’ve already applied for a Sustainability Victoria grant and now find this grant is more relevant or suitable, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.

2.2 Who cannot apply

Other federal, state or local government agencies.

Business or organisations that:

  • have more than 200 FTE
  • do not have a 12-month operating history by the application closing date
  • have failed to adequately address an environmental or safety breach or cannot demonstrate they are working effectively to resolve the breach
  • are unable to demonstrate the financial capability to undertake the project
  • have failed to satisfactorily complete any other previous projects funded by SV without sufficient reason.

2.3 What will be funded

Projects must:

  • manufacture new products using packaging waste
  • reduce generation of packaging waste
  • increase or improve recovery of packaging waste
  • manufacture packaging using recovered materials.

Costs supported by funding include:

  • capital purchases - including infrastructure or equipment
  • expenditure items including other capital purchases that are directly related to the project.

Projects that receive funding must:

  • deliver on at least one of the above project activities
  • divert or recover at least one of these materials – plastic, paper/cardboard or glass from landfill
  • be located or service Victoria
  • meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • be completed within 12 months of contract signing.

You can submit multiple applications. Each application must be for a different project. An application must not be for multiple projects.

2.4 What will not be funded

Projects will not be funded if they:

  • do not focus on at least one of the listed project activities
  • intend to operate outside of Victoria
  • source more than 50% of waste outside of Victoria
  • use native forestry materials and wastes as a feedstock
  • have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources
  • do not meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • are being undertaken to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order
  • requests retrospective funding, having been completed or commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with SV
  • have commenced project before signing a funding agreement with SV
  • focus on metal as major recovered material, due to existing high recovery rates and established markets
  • do not demonstrate good value for money.

The following costs are ineligible for funding:

  • Research, development and demonstration (RD&D).
  • Permit, licensing, approval costs.
  • Routine or cyclical maintenance works.
  • Repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance.
  • Operating or business-as-usual costs (such as, but not limited to, salaries, electricity, water and other utilities).
  • Lease or purchase of land.
  • Consultancy/project management costs.
  • Marketing, advertising, promotional costs.
  • Lease or purchase of vehicles (e.g. front-end loaders, forklifts).
  • Business case development, feasibility studies, consultancy or contract work.
  • Pre-construction (site preparation) such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works.
  • Industry standard practices which result in reduction in packaging. e.g. installing tapped/kegged alcohol over bottled; adding a new larger packaging offer which is common within your industry.
  • Leasing of equipment.
  • Travel, conferences, events and other educational activities.
  • Contingency costs.

3. Assessment process

3.1 Assessment criteria

The assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to these criteria.


Weighting: 70%

Describe how your project will deliver one or more of the fund objectives.

Demonstrate how your project will:

  • manufacture new products using packaging waste
  • reduce generation of packaging waste
  • increase or improve recovery of packaging waste
  • manufacture packaging using recovered materials.

Preference will be given to projects that create new products.


Weighting: 10%

Describe who will deliver the project.

Demonstrate the abilities the applicant has to deliver the project including capability (skills) and capacity (resources).


Weighting: 20%

Describe how the project is commercial, feasible and capable of being delivered including evaluation metrics.

Demonstrate how your project will:

  • approach its delivery, including relevant site considerations
  • achieve realistic and achievable timeframes for delivery
  • reach viable completion, outlining proposed funding contributions for the project.

3.2 Diversity consideration

Sustainability Victoria may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that represent:

  • projects that target different material types – plastics, paper and cardboard and glass.
  • a mix of projects that align to fund objectives

3.3 Due diligence checks

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the project. This assessment will include the Applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners and/or Project Participants (see Section 9: Program definitions).

Applicants (and their Related Entities and, if applicable, their Project Partners and/or Project Participants) must:

  • have had no Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breaches in the last five years or, if there was a breach, SV may assess that the Applicant’s breach poses a satisfactory level of risk;
  • have not been the subject of an enforceable undertaking or successful litigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 or a fair work instrument within the last five years;
  • demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project;
  • have adequate insurance as outlined in the funding agreement and below:
    • Public liability $10M minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5M minimum
    • WorkCover
  • have not failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by SV within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason; and
  • manage any conflicts of interest adequately.

Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to SV’s consideration of:

  • the seriousness of any finding/s;
  • whether the finding/s has been resolved to the satisfaction of the relevant enforcement agency, or the Applicant can demonstrate it is working effectively to resolve the finding;
  • the efforts made by the Applicant including implementation of management systems, to ensure no further finding/s occur; and
  • whether, since the finding, the Applicant has had a satisfactory level of compliance with relevant Environmental and Safety Laws and Workplace Laws.

SV may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners and/or Project Participants involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Project Partners and/or Project Participant(s) agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at SV’s request.

SV reserves the right not to award funding to Applicants where the due diligence risk (including that of Project Participants and Project Partners) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

4. Funding conditions

Successful applicants approved for funding must do the following.

Before starting the project

  • Participate in an inception meeting to discuss project and funding agreement.
  • Agree to realistic evidence-based and performance-based milestone payments.
  • Provide Sustainability Victoria with insurance certificates of currency.
  • Sign Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement within 30 days of approval.

During and after the project

  • Deliver the project as outlined in the application and comply with the funding agreement.
  • Contribute to regular project progress updates or meetings.
  • Notify Sustainability Victoria immediately about any delay or change to the project.
  • Provide update reports to Sustainability Victoria at agreed milestones with evidence of expenditure, progress and performance
  • Provide adequate monitoring and evaluation of the project according to the funding agreement.
  • Collect and release data to Sustainability Victoria. Sustainability Victoria may share or report on the data.
  • Contribute to the project’s promotional activities (for example, provide Sustainability Victoria with support by reviewing and approving written stories or videos).
  • Participate in and contribute to Sustainability Victoria activities to distribute the findings to broader stakeholders (for example, government and industry).
  • Acknowledge that Sustainability Victoria has contributed funding in all communications related to the project.

5. Timeline

Dates may change. We will provide applicants with updates as much as possible and when necessary.

Applications open: 25 August 2021

Applications close: 11:59 pm, 30 September 2021

Information session: 11:00 am, 8 September 2021

Notification of outcome: Early December 2021

Funding agreements established: December 2021, or in mutual agreement with the successful applicant

Projects commenced by: March 2022, or in mutual agreement with the successful applicant

Project completed: 12 months from contract signing, or in mutual agreement with successful applicant

6. How to apply

Before applying, we recommend you attend an information session.

The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.

  1. Ensure that your organisation can apply.
  2. Ensure that your project is qualified
  3. Read Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement. You must meet the terms and conditions to ensure funding.
    1. For grants $50,000 or less read the Short-form grant funding agreement.
  4. Read Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  5. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  6. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, 30 September 2021. Late applications will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

Your application

  • Allow adequate time to plan, research, gather supporting documentation and draft your application.
  • As this is a competitive grant, we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
  • You must use SmartyGrants, unless you have written permission from Sustainability Victoria.

Tips for using SmartyGrants

  • Click ‘Save progress’ every 10 to 15 minutes. This prevents your data from being lost if something happens when you’re filling in the form. You will be automatically logged out of the system after 60 minutes of inactivity (where you did not click ‘Save progress’ or navigate between pages). Once logged out, you will close any changes that were not saved.
  • Wait for your file to be uploaded. Wait for your document to be successfully attached before going to another page. If not, the file upload will be cancelled. The maximum size per file is 25MB.
  • Once you’ve submitted your application, you cannot make any changes. Check your application carefully.
  • You will receive a confirmation email. When your application has been submitted successfully, you will get an automatic receipt from SmartyGrants.
  • For any technical issues, please contact SmartyGrants on (03) 9320 6888 during business hours

7. Assistance available

7.1 Information sessions

An information session was held on 8 September.

A recording of this session is available on our Information bulletin.

Read the information bulletin

Answers to questions we receive at our information sessions and via phone and email are published on our Information bulletin.

We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in these grant guidelines.

7.2 Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.


In the subject line, use the fund name [Investment Support Grant – Packaging (ISGP)]

8. Why the Victorian Government is providing this funding

This fund is released as part of the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy. It is being funded through a combination of Recycling Victoria Market Acceleration Package (MAP) funds and funding from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisations (APCO).

The policy will fundamentally boost jobs and establish a recycling system Victorians can rely on.

Key Commitment 8 of the policy is to increase the use of recycled materials. Under this commitment, the Recycling Markets Acceleration package is being delivered and this fund is a component of the package. The ISG-P program will support and preference projects that create new end products from packaging waste aligning with SV’s MAP program objective 8.1.

Recent changes to national and international recycling policies, regulations, costs and activities are placing pressure upon Victoria’s capacity to avoid, manage and recycle waste. Packaging waste represents around a third of the amount of waste in Victoria.

Victorian businesses are a key generator of this packaging waste. Increasing business’ capacity to avoid, recover, recycle and remanufacture packaging waste represents a significant opportunity to reduce the pressure on Victoria’s recycling capacity, and transition to a more circular economy.

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Not for Profit organisations (NFPs) and social enterprises face more acute information and financial barriers to investment in waste reduction or recycling initiatives than larger companies and organisations.

Common barriers include constrained cashflow and justification of capital expenditure to pursue waste reduction or recycling initiatives

This fund supports suitable projects to overcome a lack of funding, allowing them to pursue initiatives. We are focusing these funds on supporting organisations that use, produce or recycle packaging to enable them to transition to more circular economy models.

9. Definitions


The applicant who applies for the funding and is responsible for all details in the submission of an application and the contractual obligations under the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.


The Applicant’s required cash or in-kind contribution to the total project income.

Packaging materials

Packaging is defined in the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) to mean all packaging products made of any material, or combination of materials, for the containment, protection, marketing or handling of consumer products. This includes distribution packaging.

For the purposes of the ISGP, materials eligible for funding – where they constitute the majority and primary purpose of the project – are paper and cardboard, plastics, and glass. Projects that primarily recover metals are ineligible for ISGP funding.

Direct Jobs

Actual new full-time positions created by your business. This can include training or upskilling of employees who would otherwise be made redundant through the implementation of your project.

Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breach

An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.

Environmental and Safety Laws

Environmental and safety laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 2017 or any other legislation, regulation, order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.

Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE)

The hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis.

Calculating FTE

The calculation is used to convert the hours worked by several part-time employees into the hours worked by full-time employees. For example, you have three employees working the following - 40, 40 and 20 hours per week, giving you 100 hours per week in total.

Assuming full-time hours are 40 hours per week, your full-time equivalent calculation is 100 hours divided by 40 hours which equals 2.5 FTE.

In-kind Contribution

An in-kind contribution is a contribution of a good or a service other than cash.

In-kind contributions should include the cost for activities that are directly related to delivering your project. Examples include:

  • staff time to manage project implementation (project management and installation costs that utilise existing internal resources);
  • time spent on project activities by volunteers; and
  • donated goods or services related to the project.

The following activities cannot be considered as in-kind contributions:

  • operating expenses that are not directly associated with delivering the project; and
  • opportunity costs such as staff ‘downtime’ during the installation of equipment or implementation of activities.

Applicants must fairly justify how they determined the dollar value for in-kind contributions.

Not-for-profit (NFP)

An organisation that provides services to the community and does not operate to make a profit for its members (or shareholders, if applicable).

Related Entities

Entities which are related to the Applicant and includes:

  • Holding companies of the Applicant
  • Subsidiaries of the Applicant
  • Subsidiaries of holding companies of the Applicant
  • Companies with common directors or shareholders as the Applicant
  • Companies that are a beneficiary under a trust of which the Applicant is a trustee
  • Trustees of a trust under which the Applicant is a beneficiary
  • Companies that conduct business at the same address as the Applicant, or the same address as the location of the activity for which the funding is sought

Related Person/s

Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the Applicant or a Related Entity.

Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

A registered business that employs less than 200 people. Employee numbers are based on full time equivalents (FTE) per ABN.

Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Social enterprises:

  • are driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic
  • derive most of their income from trade, not donations or grants
  • use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission.

Workplace Laws

Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.

Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the subject line, use the grant name ISGP R2