$3m grant for NZ's first 100% recycled plastic food packaging

New Zealand Spent $3 million On 100% Recycled Plastic Food Packaging

New Zealand Spent $3 million On 100% Recycled Plastic Food Packaging

The Government's giving three million dollars to Pact Group, to create New Zealand's first 100 per cent recycled-plastic food packaging.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said the money means material that is usually discarded as waste can be recycled and reused locally, rather than sent away overseas.

The money will enable the company to create a range of 100 per cent recycled food packaging across multiple common product lines at its new plant in Auckland.

The move comes as China ramps up its "National Sword" initiative - a strict regulation scheme which aims to limit the amount of waste imported into the country.

"We need to tackle our waste in New Zealand, we've had a record of sending them offshore. This new plant will contribute usefully to increasing New Zealand's on-shore recycling infrastructure", Eugenie Sage said. The new plant will allow recycled Type 1 or PET plastic to be decontaminated and made back into food packaging. The funding spent on the plant would certainly aid New Zealand in shifting towards a more efficient circular and sustainable economy, where products are manufactured to have a long life.

She says there needs to be a demand for recycled plastic products to drive that shift.

Pact Group executive general manager Eric Kjestrup said it would take between nine and 12 months to procure and set up the plant.

To date, packaging made from Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for example soft drink bottles and meat trays are now collected via kerbside recycling and other than small volumes in Wellington, the majority is baled and sold offshore.

Kjestrup said the new plastic and recycled pellets were now imported, but the new plant meant local plastic waste would be recycled, to create a closed loop.

The plant could process about 10,000 tonnes of recycled PET (rPET) a year which would reduce the requirements for virgin PET, as well as off-setting the use of other materials that were typically disposed in landfills.

Sources close to the matter informed that this is the biggest funding grant of 2019 from the $10 to $15 million a year fund.

"People need to do better".

"One thing folks can do to help is guaranteeing that their containers are clean when they put them within the kerbside bin".