Production of recyclable plastic packages kickstarts in New Zealand

15 Jul 2019

New Zealand has taken another step towards becoming a greener country, providing a more sustainable life and a cleaner environment. Pact Group (NZ) has confirmed that they will be producing 100% recycled plastic food packaging. They will also be benefitting from the government’s investment in the project, being given $3m from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF). 

A new plant at Auckland will be constructed for Pact to make use of the local recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) for food packaging. 

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage described this project as one to benefit the country and saw it as an opportunity to develop New Zealand’s recycling system, saying ‘This is a major step forward for a company that is the largest manufacturer of rigid plastics packaging products in Australasia…This new plant will contribute usefully to increasing New Zealand's on-shore recycling infrastructure.’
 
She elaborated how this will help improve the economy, ‘More materials recovery and local re-processing infrastructure helps us shift to a more sustainable and efficient circular economy, where products are designed to have a long life, and materials can be recovered and easily reused, recycled, remanufactured.’ 

Pact (NZ) executive general manager, Eric Kjestrup gave a brief explanation of the process that will be used to get such a result, ‘Take the bottles, they are then shredded to get the flake...it's totally decontaminated and at the end of it comes out pellets. The pellets then go through another extruder and it produces sheet.’ Afterwards, ‘That sheet goes into a thermoformer [that] stamps out the trays.’ 

Kjestrup went on to express his gratitude towards the government’s scheme which helped boost the project. He said, ‘We are thankful for the support we have received from the Waste Minimisation Fund as it will enable Pact Group to produce an extensive range of 100% rPET food grade packaging products, including meat trays, bakery trays, deli containers, food containers, produce containers and beverage bottles..’

The company’s target is to find solutions and remove the use and production of non-recyclable packages by 2025.