Element - - Element Promotion - *Re­search con­ducted by Hori­zon Re­search in 2012 as part of a fea­si­bil­ity study which re­ceived fund­ing from the Waste Min­imi­sa­tion Fund. http://www.flight.co.nz/sus­tain­abil­ity.html

In Jan­uary 2014 Flight’s new plas­tic pack­ag­ing plant was opened by Prime Min­is­ter John Key cel­e­brat­ing another New Zealand first for Flight in over 100 years of busi­ness.

Flight’s Lower Hutt plant be­came the first plas­tic pack­ag­ing plant in New Zealand to man­u­fac­ture food grade PET* pack­ag­ing from im­ported re­cy­cled PET flake (RPET) al­most thirty years af­ter be­ing the first New Zealand man­u­fac­turer to ex­trude PET sheet.

Flight now of­fers a range of RPET food pun­nets and trays to its cus­tomers.

Flight Plas­tics Di­rec­tor Derek Lan­der says the de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce RPET plas­tic pack­ag­ing was based on the com­pany’s ex­pe­ri­ence in the UK and in­de­pen­dent re­search con­ducted in New Zealand to as­sess con­sumer de­mand.

“Re­search* showed that 87% of New Zealan­ders wanted their pack­ag­ing to be re­cy­clable and to con­tain, where pos­si­ble, re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. That’s been our ex­pe­ri­ence in the UK too where the ma­jor­ity of what we pro­duce at our UK plant now uses re­cy­cled PET flakes. Be­ing able to man­u­fac­ture RPET plas­tic prod­ucts here at the ex­act size and vol­ume re­quired means we can re­spond quickly and ef­fi­ciently to chang­ing cus­tomer de­mands.”

The next ma­jor step for Flight is to in­stall a wash plant to pro­duce the RPET flakes from PET drinks con­tain­ers and food pack­ag­ing col­lected at kerb­side around New Zealand. Over 10,000 tonnes of PET pack­ag­ing is col­lected from homes each year for re­cy­cling but sent over­seas for pro­cess­ing.

Mr Lan­der says: “Pro­duc­ing RPET pack­ag­ing was stage one and has shown that brands are in­ter­ested in a much more sus­tain­able prod­uct made from re­cov­ered pack­ag­ing waste. Stage 2 will be even more ex­cit­ing. With fund­ing sup­port from the Gov­ern­ment’s Waste Min­imi­sa­tion Fund, in 2016 we plan to in­tro­duce a PET wash plant which can take and process lo­cally the PET con­tain­ers and bot­tles which are put out for re­cy­cling at kerb­side and use lo­cally pro­duced RPET flake to man­u­fac­ture our pack­ag­ing.” *What is PET? PET stands for Poly­eth­yl­ene Tereph­tha­late and is typ­i­cally iden­ti­fied on pack­ag­ing as Plas­tics Code 1. RPET is the acro­nym for re­cy­cled PET.

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