PACKAGING INDUSTRY TACKLES WASTE HEAD ON

The country’s leading packaging industry group is moving forward with efforts to end plastic waste in New Zealand.

The Packaging Forum’s Rigid Plastic Stewardship Project is holding its crucial first working meeting on August 26 in Auckland, where an advisory group will be formed, and the work plan discussed, said project manager Dominic Salmon.

The project will accelerate the development of solutions to meet rapid demand from the industry, consumers and government, particularly for problematic plastics 3-7 as well as beverage containers. “We are developing practical, on the ground solutions for rigid plastics,” said Salmon.

Government recently $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for recycling and reuse projects. “Our project will also help guide investment in this area by looking at both recovery systems and the recycling and end use of the materials.”

The intention of the project is to develop a whole-of-industry, product stewardship approach for rigid plastic food and beverage packaging. Product stewardship sees manufacturers and retailers take responsibility for their products at end of life.

Dominic said the project will also help members achieve ‘Pledge 2025’, in which members of the Forum committed to make all their packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The project will combine research, issues of food safety and food waste, effective recovery, and recycling systems. “It’s important to remember plastic actually prevents waste, such as keeping food fresh for longer. This work will therefore also include balanced education on the use of plastics.”

To attend the meeting email dominic@packagingforum.org.nz