Packaging from Pact Group has secured funding from the New Zealand’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) to build a food recycling packaging plant.
A grant of $3m from WMF will be used for the construction of new plant at Auckland. This facility will be operated by Pact.
The new facility will enable Pact to use completely locally sourced recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in food grade packaging.
Pact Group executive general manager Eric Kjestrup 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.”
In New Zealand, the existing recycling infrastructure converts plastic polymers and PET into recycled PET (rPET) flake.
As the rPET flake is not approved for food contact applications, it must be sandwiched between layers of virgin material. This implies that packaging can only form a proportion of recycled content.
At full capacity, Pact’s new facility will be able to process around 10,000 tonnes of rPET per annum. This will help to reduce the requirements for virgin PET as well as offset the use of other materials that are not easily disposed into landfill.
The packaging made from PET, including soft drink bottles and meat trays, are collected through kerbside recycling, with the majority being baled and sold offshore.
With the new facility, Pact can substitute all imported virgin resin with 100% rPET food-contact approved packaging, thereby boosting the circular economy.
Pact is claimed to be the largest converter and processor of pre and post-industrial consumer recycled resin in the Southern Hemisphere. It converts more than 30 000 tonnes of resin that may enter into landfill.
The investment supports with Pact’s 2025 End of Waste Strategy, which was announced in 2018. Under this strategy, the company aims to end the production of all non-recyclable packaging by 2025.
Pact will also offer solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle all single use secondary packaging in supermarkets, in addition to providing 30% recycled content across its packaging portfolio by 2025.