Tetra Pak has joined forces with New Zealand Plastic Products, a wood plastic manufacturer, in a game-changing partnership that will enable used beverage cartons to be recycled in New Zealand by the end of 2019.
Carton recycling in New Zealand has faced challenges due to small volumes and long distances. This partnership will 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.
“Cartons are a valuable resource that can keep delivering value after their primary use through recycling,” says Andrew Pooch, Managing Director, Tetra Pak Oceania. “Our partnership with New Zealand Plastic Products, will see the set-up of a local carton recycling solution in South Auckland 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.
Gavin Feng, Director, New Zealand Plastic Products says the partnership combines the companies’ 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 says. “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.”