Government helps fund new plant for New Zealand’s first 100% recycled plastic food packaging range

  • Hon Eugenie Sage

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announced a significant investment in a new plant to create New Zealand’s first 100% recycled plastic food packaging range as part of the wider plan to tackle the plastic pollution challenge.

A $3 million grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund is being made to Pact Group (NZ) Ltd. The grant will enable the company to create a range of 100% recycled food packaging across ten common product lines such as: meat and bakery trays, and, deli, food and produce containers at its Auckland plant.

“Expanding plastics reprocessing infrastructure and capability here in New Zealand so that formerly waste materials can be recycled and re-used locally, rather than sent 'away' overseas is a key part of tackling the plastic pollution challenge. This new plant will contribute usefully to increasing New Zealand’s on-shore recycling infrastructure,” Eugenie Sage said.

The funding amounts to 50% of the total cost of a new plant project being developed by Pact Group (NZ) Ltd.  The new plant will allow recycled Type 1 or PET plastic to be decontaminated and made back into food packaging.

“We are committed towards finding solutions to plastic pollution. It’s fantastic to be able to announce an initiative like this during Plastic Free July– working towards cleaner streets and streams, pleasant, liveable neighbourhoods and healthy oceans.

“The $3 million funding is enabling Pact Group to prioritise this project ahead of many others. This is a major step forward for a company that is the largest manufacturer of rigid plastics packaging products in Australasia.  

“Investing in industries and systems to avoid and reduce waste, particularly plastic waste is a top priority. New Zealanders want to avoid and reduce plastic pollution.  New reprocessing infrastructure which enables plastics to be recycled and repurposed for use in food packaging is part of an effective response to China’s National Sword. It helps reduce waste volumes going to landfill and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Like other countries, New Zealand’s economy to date has been based on a ‘take, make and dispose' model, which treats nature and the resources it provides as ‘free’ and disposable.  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,” concludes Eugenie Sage.