Brosnan has just been elected president and for the first time in the organisation's 15 year history both senior positions are held by representatives from brand owners and retailers.
The council's vice-president is David Carter, group environment and technical projects manager for Lion Nathan.
The council says this reflects the importance the two groups have on addressing changing consumer attitudes to sustainable packaging.
Brosnan, who has 27 years experience in the New Zealand supermarket industry, takes over the helm at a time when environmental issues are in the forefront of consumers minds.
He says that the council, through its early adoption of voluntary product stewardship when it signed the Packaging Accord with government in 2004, is an exemplar for other industry groups but must continue to show leadership.
"At the time we signed the Accord, I don't think we could have predicted the intense scrutiny that the packaging industry and the Accord would come under. As an industry we have made good progress but we have also had to address along the way a range of issues which have a direct impact on us. Our role is increasingly one of communication and advocacy.
"There has been much debate evolving from the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill which will continue throughout the year with the announcement that the select committee will not now report back until the end of October. This delay illustrates the complexity in finding a solution."
Brosnan says that while there is widespread support philosophically for the bill, industry is correctly concerned that the economic implications should be as well understood as the social and environmental outcomes.
"What concerns me is the impact that waste levies will have on those businesses who are not already motivated to reduce waste going to landfill. The thought process may be that the levy has been paid to solve the problem so why should I do any more by committing to voluntary initiatives?
"The collective response from our members in making positive changes within the voluntary framework of the Accord sends a powerful message about what is possible, without regulatory intervention and associated costs."
As part of its commitment under the Packaging Accord, the grocery retail sector has just announced a joint initiative to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags.
"Our code of practice for sustainable packaging is the standard for packaged goods and we will be increasingly self-policing because if we don't, others will do it for us. But we must not lose sight of the fact that packaging is there to protect and preserve products and without it there would be much greater waste. So the Packaging Council will continue to promote the positive benefits of sustainable packaging."