Nineteen New World and PAK’nSAVE stores throughout the country have been trialling a recyclable plastic meat tray, as a sustainable alternative to the 'destined for landfill' foam meat trays.

Currently the problem remains that hundreds of millions of polystyrene trays are sent to landfill every year after being in use for about one week. There's been no real alternative but to landfill the used product, as polystyrene is not accepted via kerbside schemes. Creating a suitable alternative to the useful but hard to dispose of polystyrene trays has been a long running global environmental challenge.

“Any replacement product needs to look better, work just as well, be available at the same cost and be 100% recyclable at kerbside,” said sustainability manager, Food Stuffs New Zealand Ltd, Mike Sammons.

After two years of product development, the team at New World and PAK’nSAVE together with packaging partner, Alto Packaging, has developed, designed and manufactured a recyclable plastic tray. The new tray comprises 50% recycled material and is accepted by every kerbside recycling scheme across New Zealand.

“The meat tray ticks all the right boxes in terms of sustainability and performance and furthermore it’s made right here by one of New Zealand’s leading rigid plastic packaging companies,” said Sammons.

"The real innovation lies in the trays ability to capture fluid in the base. The little ‘dimples’ in the bottom of the tray hold the fluid there even when tilted or turned upside down, meaning customers don’t have to worry about any nasty meat fluids getting in amongst their shopping."