Head scratching over lids in harbour
Hundreds of plastic GoldMax formula lids found along a Lower Hutt shoreline recently were made at a factory less than 200 metres away from where they washed up.
Richard Jorgensen, manager of IML Plastics Limited which makes the lids for GoldMax, was at a loss to explain how the lids ended up in the water and along the shore.
The company was unsure whether the situation had been caused by a problem in their own processes or through a third party collecting their products.
The IML plant, located on Meachen St, which has a junction with Port Rd - where many of the lids were found on May 4 - had never had a similar incident happen in more than 40 years at the site, Jorgensen said.
‘‘It seems to be an isolated incident, so something unusual has happened.’’
A well as having a plant in Seaview, IML had a warehouse in nearby Barnes St for finished products.
IML had reviewed its operations and had found nothing out of the ordinary that could explain the lids in the harbour.
The company had been alerted to the situation around 4pm on May 4 by the Hutt City Council and had sent staff out to pick up some of the remaining lids.
Staff had also been searching for more of the blue lids that weekend and were continuing to monitor the shoreline last week.
Jorgensen said they took the incident very seriously and were working to ensure there would be no repeat.
‘‘We’re not happy that this has happened. We need to establish if there is an issue in our system and we need to make sure this can’t happen again.’’
IML specialises in blow and injection moulded packaging and has been in business since 1963.
Council regulatory services and emergency management divisional manager Geoff Stuart said a trade waste team had identified IML as the manufacturer on the Friday afternoon and contacted them to advise on what had happened.
It was believed the lids entered the stormwater system through street sumps and were washed into the water. It had not been determined how they got into the sumps.
The council had recommended litter traps be installed in sumps adjacent to the factory to prevent material being lost in the stormwater system in the future.
Stuart said IML had ordered the traps and both the city council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council were satisfied the company had taken positive steps toward remedying the situation.