How to eliminate 210 tonnes of fresh plastic
Boutique dairy producer Lewis Road Creamery has eliminated 210 tonnes of fresh plastic from its packaging cycle in just the first 12 months of trialling bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. The company said it has now permanently shifted all its bottles to rPET, which is made from 100% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable in New Zealand.
“No new plastic is created, and no plastic is shipped offshore because rPET is accepted by every council in the country,” explained Lewis Road founder, Peter Cullinane. “It’s an additional cost to us, but it’s one we’re happy to absorb rather than pass on simply because this is the right thing to do.”
He said switching the company’s 750ml and 1.5 litre milk bottles had saved the production and import of 210 tonnes of fresh plastic into New Zealand. In addition, the company will now change their 300ml flavoured milk and cream bottles to rPET, as well as reduce the amount of plastic used in each of its 1.5l bottles by 30%. These two initiatives will save an additional combined 73 tonnes of plastic each year.
“The colour of the bottles isn’t perfect,” explained Cullinane. “We’ve had to tell a few customers that even though the bottles no longer look completely clear, the product inside is still pristine. Hopefully by doing this we can help make the path easier for others who may follow.”
He said the company will continue to follow new sustainable solutions closely, including the option of glass bottles, but says rPET currently stacks up as the most feasible and responsible solution for nation-wide distribution of all its bottled products.