The Better Packaging Co says it has produced the world’s first mailer and poly bags using 100% recycled ocean bound plastic pollution.
03 November 2021
The Packaging Forum member announced through social media, on 2 November, it had developed the innovative bags made entirely from ocean bound plastic.
The company says it’s working with communities in some of world’s poorest and most polluted coastal regions to remove plastic pollution from their beaches and riverways before it reaches the ocean.
The poly bags are also recyclable through the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, have a 200% carbon offset and are traceable to source, The Better Packaging Co says.
Packaging designer Sealed Air is leading the way in recycled plastic innovation with an innovative rollstock made from 90% recycled content and food-grade recycled polypropylene (PP).
15 July 2021
The company has developed PET/PE food-grade sustainable packaging which comprises 65% post-industrial recycled content and 25% post-consumer recycled content, and is recyclable through soft plastics collections.
For fresh protein and dry good sectors that use PET/PE or KPET/PE materials, this presents an opportunity to switch to materials that are uniquely more sustainable. The solution meets the Australian Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) compliance, and requires 90% less virgin resources to produce.
Sealed Air has also formed part of the global collaboration programme NEXTLOOPP, to create food-grade recycled polypropylene (PP) from post-consumer packaging.
According to Sealed Air, while PP is one of the most widely used plastics, it is downcycled to lower value (non-food) applications.
The NEXTLOOPP programme is already proving PP can be recycled into food-grade recycled packaging.
Read more about the work here.
Foodstuffs is trialing alternatives to single-use plastic produce bags during the month of July as it moves to lead in the upcoming plastics phase-out.
6 July 2021
The trial is part of the company’s commitment to Pledge 2025 – to make all its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 – and comes after Government announced a phase-out of difficult-to-recycle plastics and some single-use plastic items between 2022 and 2025.
New World, PAK ‘n SAVE and Four Square customers can expect to see a range of reusable alternatives on offer such as multi-use bags, nylon bags, mesh bags, organic cotton bags, and collapsible crates.
MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand’s largest member-based packaging organisation, The Packaging Forum, believes a call to ban all plastic bottles is not the solution for ending plastic pollution.
5 June 2020
The Forum was responding to the recent call by Greenpeace which would see all plastic bottles replaced with alternatives such as glass or tin. The issue, says the Forum’s Programme Manager Adele Rose, is that while the idea of a ban is well meaning, it would create as many unwanted issues as the ones it aimed to solve – plastic going to landfill and litter.
“The entire lifecycle of different materials needs to be taken into consideration, such as overall carbon footprint, onshore recycling infrastructure capability, and health and safety, not just the end of life,” Adele says.
All packaging material types have their challenges at end of life, which is why the Forum supports the development of circular economy solutions based in New Zealand for all packaging material types, she says. The circular economy sees resources reused, repurposed or recycled rather than sent to landfill.
“Our members are committed to taking responsibility for their packaging and we have pledged to work with them to make all their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Even then packaging waste could end up in landfill or as litter if government policymakers and consumers don’t also play their part.”
A ban would bring a multitude of issues into play, Adele says. “Consider how many products are imported into New Zealand in plastic bottles between 100ml and 3 litres. There are many products which aren’t sold at dairies or supermarkets, such as supplements used for medical purposes and sold at pharmacies, which would be included,” Adele says.
“Government would also have to consider issues such as the impact the ban would have on free trade agreements, as just one example.”
The Packaging Forum, which includes the Glass Packaging Forum, Public Place Recycling Scheme and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, agrees with Greenpeace that more can and should be done to deal with the issue of plastic pollution and littering. Public awareness and changing people’s attitude to plastic is key, Adele says.
“We are absolutely for ending packaging waste – it’s our core driver – but it needs to be done using a collaborative approach involving industry, Government and the consumer.”
Foodstuffs and Prolife Foods are trialling a new, recycled paper packaging solution in the Alison’s Pantry departments of 30 stores.
25 February 2020
The recycled paper bags are on trial at 30 New World and PAK’nSAVE stores around the country until the end of March. This option will be available alongside the existing Alison’s Pantry resealable LDPE (type 4) bags.
The Collective, is leading the charge as the first yoghurt company in New Zealand to use recycled plastic (rPET) in its packaging.
26 February 2020
As part of a company-wide sustainability journey to reduce its environmental impact, The Collective’s kefir probiotic yoghurt is the first of its products to hit the shelves with recycled plastic packaging.
Plastics New Zealand’s CEO Rachel Barker has called for a crackdown on a practice called ‘greenwashing’ – where manufacturers claim their products are renewable or plastic free when they aren’t.
“There is a high level of greenwash around packaging in New Zealand, such as claims of ‘I’m not plastic’ on bags and bottles which are still plastic, even when they’re compostable or made from plants. Other items are advertised as ‘renewable’ when they include oil-based plastics. With the public increasingly concerned about making sustainable shopping purchases, this kind of greenwashing needs to stop.”
Ms Barker says that the definition of what is or isn’t a plastic is very clear.
“Plastic is any material that’s made from very long molecule chains called ‘polymers’ that can be formed into a shape and set. They can be made from plants like corn or sugar-cane as well as fossil-fuels. Plastics that are compostable are still plastic.”
WasteMINZ believe the key to stopping the greenwash is by providing clear guidance for consumers and product suppliers in New Zealand. Chris Purchas, chair of the WasteMINZ Organic Materials sector group, notes that:
“A lot of these materials are quite new and there hasn’t been a lot of guidance around advertising. Companies may accidentally mislead their customers and don’t realise their claims fall foul of the Fair Trading Act.”
WasteMINZ and Plastics NZ have set out to change this and have created the Guide to Advertising the Plastics Used in Compostable Products and Packaging. This was developed in collaboration with scientists, composting specialists and compostable packaging manufacturers. It answers some important questions and helps clear up the confusion for both companies and consumers.
The guide also tackles the myth that all plant-based plastics (bioplastics) are compostable. Rachel Barker points out,
“There is confusion around what is and isn’t compostable. Just because packaging is made from plants doesn’t automatically mean it’s compostable. Conversely packaging made using fossil fuels, isn’t automatically non-compostable.
Being compostable also doesn’t necessarily mean the item is made from renewable materials. It means the item will be converted to compost under the right conditions and the only way to definitively know is through a proper verification process. That’s why composting certification is so important.”
A list of the most common bioplastics on the market at the moment and whether they are plant-based or oil-based and whether they can be recycled or composted can be found here.
Leading beverage company Frucor Suntory has taken another significant
step in its commitment to sustainable production with the introduction
of 750ml glass bottles for its NZ Natural still and sparkling water.
30 August 2019
The sustainable and 100 per cent recyclable packaging is the latest in the Frucor Suntory’s commitment to plastic reduction, following the company’s promise to make 100 per cent of it’s packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Read more: Hospitality Business article
There’s a new buzz on the vine – Beekist say goodbye to plastic tomato punnets.
1 October 2018
Bee-pollinated tomato brand Beekist® is getting a packaging makeover and it comes in the form of cardboard, replacing their plastic punnets. The move will remove 5.5 million plastic punnets from supermarket shelves or 100 tonnes less plastic that Kiwis take home every year. This is part of T&G’s Growing Green commitment.
Read more: Beekist article