The Packaging Forum held its annual general meeting on 2 September via a virtual format again this year due changes to Covid-19 Alert Levels.
24 September 2021
The AGM included updates from the Forum’s two product stewardship schemes, the Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme (SPRS) as well as electing their steering committees.
Continuity was the order of the day with the GPF only seeing two changes as outgoing Chair Karen Titulaer (Villa Maria) stepped down and Heath Bowman (Pic’s Peanut Butter) joined for the first time.
The rest of the 2020-2021 committee members are reprising their positions
The SPRS steering committee retains the steady hand of Malcolm Everts (Cottonsoft) as Chair while Steffan Pedersen (Caspak), Keri-Anne Martin (Nestle) and Michael Anderson (Goodman Fielder) reprised their roles.
They are joined by new faces:
A big thank you to our outgoing steering committee members and to the new members, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis.
Mondelēz International will now source recycled plastic for its range of Cadbury chocolate blocks sold in New Zealand and Australia.
17 September 2021
Advanced recycling technology has enabled Cadbury to source the equivalent of 30 per cent of the plastic needed to wrap Cadbury Dairy Milk family block range from recycled sources.
The volume of recycled plastic being used is enough for 50-million family blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate which – if laid end-to-end – would stretch from Auckland to San Francisco.
The latest Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme (SPRS) webinar will outline the current state of the scheme and what the future holds.
11am, 24 June 2021
This is a member-only event. To register your interest email Donna Hellens.
The webinar will feature Bruce Middleton from Waste Not Consulting, Future Post Founder Jerome Wenzlick and SPRS Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes.
They will outline what soft plastic New Zealanders are recycling, how much they are recycling, and where they are recycling it as well as what’s next for the scheme.
This is a member-only event. To register your interest email Donna Hellens.
Dole has introduced new packaging for its Bobby Bananas which will reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill by some 16 tonnes.
25 March 2021
The new packaging was featured recently in FMCG magazine.
The new tape on the bananas can also be dropped off with other soft plastic at Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme drop off points.
Labelling, materials compliance and the future of soft plastic recycling in New Zealand and Australia.
12.30 – 2pm (New Zealand), 10.30am – noon (Australia – AEDT) 15 March 2021
In December 2020, The Packaging Forum signed an agreement with the Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO) which integrates the New Zealand Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme within the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).
There are a lot of questions about using the PREP tool, how to use the ARL and, how to use the NZ soft plastic recycle at store logo in conjunction with the ARL and REDCycle.
To answer these questions, we will be joined by Lily Barnett and Alex Dickie from APCO, and Liz Kasell from REDCycle. This webinar will be of interest to your colleagues in Australia as well.
The country’s biggest packaging industry organisation is offering funding for projects which aim to reduce litter in New Zealand.
1 February 2021
The Packaging Forum opened its first grant funding application round of 2021 today (1 February), to run for the month. Councils, recyclers, community groups and other organisations which have projects aimed at litter reduction are encouraged to apply for up to $10,000.
The Forum’s CEO Rob Lanford says the grants are funded through voluntary levies paid by members. “The Packaging Forum and our members are dedicated to reducing packaging waste in New Zealand, and this is just one of the ways we achieve this.”
The Forum has helped fund a number of litter reduction projects in the past, such as public place recycling and rubbish bins at health centres, sports clubs and tourist attractions, he says.
“We also have a Recycling and Litter Advisory Group which works to increase access to public place recycling and change public behaviour in regard to recycling and litter,” Rob says.
This group partners with data collectors to better understand the litter problem and allocates funding for projects which increase access to public place recycling and rubbish facilities. It also funds education and behaviour change projects, and works with partners to help get the right messages to the right people, Rob says.
Those interested in applying for a grant for their litter reduction project, or wanting to find out more, are encouraged to visit grants page.
The Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme recognised as approved alternative destination under the ARL Program.
22 December 2020
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and The Packaging Forum are pleased to announce a new trans-Tasman partnership to ensure more soft plastics are collected, recycled and stay out of landfill.
The new partnership will see the Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme recognised as an approved Alternative Destination under APCO’s Australasian Recycling Label Program. To be approved as an Alternative Destination, programs must meet a set of criteria to confirm the accessibility, recycling outcomes and scope of the program.
The partnership will mean businesses distributing soft plastic packaging in the New Zealand market no longer have to label their soft plastics as Not Recyclable. The new partnership will help businesses to provide accurate and clear recycling information to the customers and help consumers to correctly recycle their soft plastic packaging.
The ‘Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme’ is membership-based program that provides retail collection points across Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Taranaki, Waikato and Wellington to collect and recycle a range of soft plastic products, including bread bags, produce and frozen food bags, courier backs, bubble wrap and cereal bags.
The materials are processed onshore by North Island plants, Future Post and Second Life Plastics into durable plastic products including posts, parking stops, cable covers and garden edging.
Brooke Donnelly, CEO, APCO commented: “Research consistently shows that soft plastics are one of the most problematic contaminants in the waste stream and are an issue we have to get right in order to improve recovery rates for the region. We are delighted to officially partner with The Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme to provide our ARL Program Members with an approved, reliable end of life solution for their soft plastics.
“We encourage all businesses selling consumer soft plastic packaging in New Zealand to join the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and provide an evidence-based recovery option on the packaging you place on market.”
Lyn Mayes, Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme Manager, commented: “We have close to 100 scheme members, many of which operate trans-Tasman and this partnership with APCO will allow them to adopt consistent labelling for their soft plastic packaging in both countries. The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme is 100% funded by members.”
Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate and External Relations, Nestlé Oceania commented: “It’s critical we have clear on-pack communications that helps people know which bin to put the pack in. With so many businesses in New Zealand and Australia making products for sale in both countries, this partnership will help keep our on-pack messaging simple and clear, so people understand how to recycle their soft plastics.”
Mick Anderson, Group Sustainability Manager, Goodman Fielder commented: “As a foundation partner of the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme in New Zealand and REDcycle (the sister program in Australia) we are passionate about improving recycling rates of soft plastic packaging. Building consumer awareness through consistent on-pack labelling is an important part of achieving our vision of a circular economy for plastic. We have adopted the ARL and REDcycle logo on packaging in Australia and look forward to rolling out across our NZ loaf bread range, including Nature’s Fresh and Freya’s, in early 2021.”
For more information about the Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme visit the Soft Plastic Recycling website.
For more information about the ARL Program visit the APCO website.
Coffee roasters Robert Harris have not only introduced a Soft Plastic Recycling Bin at its Westgate Cafe in Auckland, but also changed its packaging to be recyclable.
18 October 2020
Robert Harris also created three excellent videos promoting their newly launched recyclable coffee pouches.
Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes enjoyed a celebratory flat white with Suntory’s Marketing Manager Antica Soljan to discuss the change in packaging and the distinct onpack labelling.
Lyn and Future Post founder Jerome Wenzlick have a starring role in a promotional videos.
New Zealand-owned and run food box company and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme member Woop has rolled out their ‘Back to Base’ product stewardship programme across all of their delivery areas.
19 October 2020
The scheme sees customers return their clean and dry packaging so it can be sorted and recycled.
Woop Founder Thomas Dietz says customers have been very enthusiastic about the initiative, as demonstrated by the high level of participation in the programme. “Customers appreciate the certainty the programme provides in knowing that the packaging is being properly recycled in New Zealand.”
We chatted to him to find out more about the company and its sustainability work.
Tell us a bit about Woop – how it started and what you hope to achieve.
Since Woop started five years ago we have placed a huge focus on our commitment to the environment and we’re excited by what we can continue to do to improve.
We brainstorm and create globally inspired recipes and select and prepare ingredients using the finest local produce, ahead of time, so our customers receive beautiful ingredients and hand-crafted sauces right to their door.
The company clearly has a strong focus on sustainable practices, tell us a bit more about that.
One hundred percent of our packaging is now recyclable or compostable, and we take responsibility for that through our Back to Base programme. But our commitment to sustainability goes further than that. We see our locally sourced ingredients, portion control to avoid food waste, and delivery emissions offsetting as essential parts of our sustainability focus too.
What is the drive behind this?
As a team we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and as a values-led business we are very passionate about it. We want to make sure that we are doing more than just our part and take responsibility to continually improve.
Was sustainability always part of the Woop business plan, or did it develop over time?
We’ve always had sustainability as a core focus of our values, however how we have engaged and implemented changes and improvements has definitely developed over time as we have learnt more.
What have been/remain the most challenging packaging items to make sustainable?
The sachets were the most challenging, as they aren’t able to be recycled through kerbside recycling. However, by partnering with Future Post we are now able to recycle them.
We have now been able to find an end-of-life recycling solution for all of our packaging. This took a lot of research.
Would you say your focus on sustainability is a point of difference or something which is becoming something of standard practice?
We see our concrete sustainability actions and our unique Back to Base product stewardship programme as a point of difference.
How do you engage with your customers to encourage them to deal with your packaging responsibly?
We are fortunate to have a direct relationship with our customers and are able to engage with them directly via phone and email.
This allows us to communicate the importance of collaborating with them on how to properly recycle the packaging they receive. This direct relationship also allows our customers to easily provide feedback and suggestions.
How have you approached sustainability with your suppliers and what are the biggest challenges there?
We require our suppliers to share their plans on improving their own sustainability and support them to make the changes we require to be more sustainable. For example, reducing packaging used in the supply chain and reducing food wastage.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for packaging sustainability overall?
Education is a big challenge. It’s really important for the public to understand the full picture when it comes to the environmental impacts of using, and not using packaging, for food.
At the moment it can be confusing for customers as to what to do with used packaging and how to make sure it’s properly recycled. There is also a lack of understanding on the functional benefits packaging brings in reducing food waste.
Do you think ‘groceries as a service’ – where many locally-based companies supply locally-sourced, regional, ready to cook produce to customers – will ever come to rival or even overtake traditional supermarkets?
These types of services are becoming more and more popular and we believe this new way of eating will continue to grow as people get busier and look to outsource parts of their lives.
What do you think the future holds for Woop in terms of business growth and the sustainability challenges that brings?
We are excited by the challenges ahead with running our Back to Base programme and being able to continue to run this initiative as the number of weekly deliveries grows. We are also continually looking for other areas we can improve and act on.
What motivated you to join The Packaging Forum?
We were motivated to join the Forum for the support network it provides and the connections it has in the recycling industry.
MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki residents will be able to recycle their soft plastics for the very first time, with collection bins being made available at Countdown Hāwera, Stratford, Spotswood, New Plymouth Central, The Valley and Vogeltown from 19 October.
16 October 2020
This latest expansion will mean there will be over 100 locations offering a drop-off service for soft plastic bags and wrappers throughout New Zealand from Taranaki up to Northland and around the Wellington region.
Lyn Mayes, Scheme Manager says: “It is fantastic to bring soft plastic recycling to the Taranaki district for the first time. Based on experience shoppers will recycle more than 25 tonnes of soft plastic or 4 million bags or wrappers every year.
“Countdown will bale the soft plastic at the back of their stores and transport it back on their returning store delivery vehicles to Auckland where it will then be sent to Future Post to be turned into plastic posts.
“Future Post has more than doubled its processing capacity thanks to new sales with local and central government departments and industry. We are doing what we promised and expanding the number of stores and our geographic coverage so that we can meet Future Post’s demand for soft plastic materials. Everything we collect is recycled here in Aotearoa.”
The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has over 80 members representing around 74% of the soft plastic materials consumed annually. The scheme pays for the costs of collection through to processing.
Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety & Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says: “We’re working to extend the scheme to as many of our stores as possible, because we recognise the hugely important role it plays in reducing waste to landfill. This is the very first time we will have soft plastics recycling available to our Taranaki customers and we’re really pleased to be able to offer a recycling option for packaging that would otherwise end up in people’s rubbish bins!”
Neil Holdom, New Plymouth District Mayor has welcomed the initiative: “This is a fantastic, forward-thinking partnership and a great example of Kiwi ingenuity in how to deal with those hard-to-recycle soft plastics. We’re on a journey to Zero Waste and we’re 100% behind projects that boost recycling and cut down what goes to landfill. It’s great to see Taranaki now in the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and I encourage all residents to use the collection bins at Countdown stores.”
This recycling service is 100% funded by industry members of the voluntary product stewardship scheme.