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.

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