Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has partnered with wood plastic manufacturer New Zealand Plastic Products to enable used beverage cartons to be recycled in New Zealand by the end of 2019.
The partnership is set to create a stable domestic end market for used beverage cartons, reduce dependency on overseas recycling partners and limit the number of cartons going to landfill.
Tetra Pak Oceania managing director Andrew Pooch said the partnership will see the set up of a local carton recycling solution in South Auckland.
“Cartons are a valuable resource that can keep delivering value after their primary use through recycling,” said Pooch.
“Our partnership will see the set-up of a local carton recycling solution where all materials from used beverage cartons including caps and straws will be recycled into something new and useful, limiting the need for virgin materials.
“This increases the overall value of used beverage cartons, making the value chain for collection and recycling more efficient and importantly, viable in New Zealand.”
In the recycling process, beverage cartons will be turned into premium wood plastic composite (WPC), able to replace timber. This product can be used in the building industry, primarily for making wide profile decking.
New Zealand Plastic Products director Gavin Feng said the partnership will combine New Zealand Plastic Products’ resource management expertise and Tetra Pak’s packaging material expertise and technical knowledge.
“We are proud to embark on this journey with Tetra Pak to create an environmentally and economically sustainable carton recycling solution in New Zealand,” he said.
“The paper fibres used to produce beverage cartons are long and strong, and the combination of polymers and aluminium along with the fibre make it extremely useful to produce robust wood plastic composite. Creating a strong market for recycled materials will encourage interest in collecting used beverage cartons, which will eventually lead to an increase in the domestic recycling rate.”
Tetra Pak has also published its 2019 Sustainability Report online, marking 21 years of sustainability reporting.
Over the past two decades, the company’s approach to sustainability reporting has evolved, from focusing on environmental commitments and actions in the first report in 1999, to evaluating every part of the business and its impact, including societal and supplier governance.
The Tetra Pak Sustainability Report 2019 can be found here.
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