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Turning plastic waste into reusable packaging

Turning plastic waste into reusable packaging

Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced funding of $4 million to Wellington manufacturer Flight Plastics to build a recycling facility that will turn plastic waste into food-safe packaging.

The money was awarded to Flight Plastics from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

About 17,000 tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) plastics are consumed in New Zealand each year. This type of plastic is commonly used to make soft drink bottles, and fruit and vegetable punnets.

Most of New Zealand’s recycled PET is exported to Asia, however, Flight Plastic’s new facility in Lower Hutt will have the potential to process up to half of that volume.

“As a country we need to be thinking smarter about ways to reduce our waste, and this facility will certainly provide a fundamental change in the way plastic waste is managed,” Ms Adam says.

“It is gratifying to be able to back an innovative project such as this, which shows Kiwi ingenuity is able to develop practical ideas which enhance our clean, green image.”

This is the first time that food-safe packaging will be made in New Zealand from locally-recycled PET.

The $4 million of funding follows a $30,000 government grant in 2012 for a feasibility study which developed a business model and assessed the economic viability of installing the recycling facility.

The funding comes from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The Fund provides financial support to projects which increase resource efficiency and decrease the amount of waste going to landfill.

To date the Government has awarded more than $50 million to 100 projects through the Fund.

For more information on the Waste Minimisation Fund go to: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-minimisation-fund/index.html


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