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Aim to drastically reduce polystyrene going to landfill

Supermarket chain joins forces with Auckland-based packaging company to drastically reduce polystyrene going to landfill

Foodstuffs North Island Ltd today announced it has begun rolling out its new sustainable Seafood Boxes to its PAK’nSAVE and New World stores across the North Island. Over the last three years the Seafood Team has been working hard to develop a more environmentally friendly solution to the challenge of transporting seafood from market to store.

Up until now, boxes made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) were used due to their light weight and good insulating properties. However, EPS is not readily recyclable in New Zealand and therefore where stores were not able to offer the boxes to customers or staff for re-use, they were left with squeezing them into the rubbish skip and sending them to landfill.

In an effort to find a more sustainable, cost effective alternative, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd partnered with its fish processor Sanford Ltd and Charta Packaging Ltd, a company with branches in Auckland and Wellington that supplies some of New Zealand's leading brands across the food, meat, fish, dairy, and wine industries.

“Trials involving various prototype boxes revealed the insulated cardboard alternatives delivering exactly, the required performance in terms of keeping the product at the required temperature from market to store,” says Baden Ngan Kee, General Manager Merchandise, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd.

Pat Roe, Account Manager, Charta Packaging Ltd says, “The boxes we supply are 100% recyclable for stores. Additionally, the corrugated middle section of the cardboard comprises 100% recycled material, reducing the environmental footprint further. To ensure the product is completely sustainable, we ensure the new papers on the inside and outside of the cardboard sandwich are sourced from certified sustainably managed forests.”

“Even the adhesive used to bond the outer and inner layers of paper to the corrugated core is made from natural starch extracted from tapioca and as only water-based inks and coating are used this means every box part that can be is recyclable,” confirms Roe.

Ngan Kee says, “That the boxes are another step towards Foodstuffs delivering on its public commitment to move its packaging to be 100% recyclable for both its customers and stores.”

“The new packaging demonstrated a really positive environmental step forward for Foodstuffs Seafood Division, as the new boxes can be recycled via stores cardboard cages or balers meaning a massive reduction in the amount of EPS going to landfill,” continued Ngan Kee.

“To add some perspective the North Island business uses several thousand polybins every week across its PAK’nSAVE and New World brands. We estimate the business could avoid sending approximately 2,250 cubic metres of EPS to landfill every year,” says Ngan Kee. “Which if spread out would cover eight and a half rugby pitches, a reduced environmental impact which we are really proud to be achieving.”


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