Countdown to use rPET packaging for bakery and delicatessen items

25 June 2018 (Last Updated June 25th, 2018 12:14)

New Zealand-based supermarket chain Countdown is set to use locally sourced recycled PET (rPET) packaging for its bakery and delicatessen items.

New Zealand-based supermarket chain Countdown is set to use locally sourced recycled PET (rPET) packaging for its bakery and delicatessen items.

This will allow the company to stop importing more than 177t of virgin plastic.

The retailer, which made the announcement at an event organised to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with building a circular economy, has selected Flight Plastics to supply 19 rPET packaging products for its in-store bakeries and delicatessens.

“This means we not only avoid new plastic coming into New Zealand but we can help take pressure off the waste stream and avoid plastic ending up in the landfill.”

Countdown corporate affairs general manager Kiri Hannifin said: “Countdown is looking for any, and all, opportunities to do our bit to protect New Zealand’s precious environment – using more recycled plastic products and introducing less virgin plastic into circulation is just one way we can do this.”

The development comes after the retailer made a pledge earlier this month to use 100% reusable, recyclable, and compostable packaging in their own brands by 2025.

The company also unveiled its plans to remove single-use plastic straws from its stores by October this year.

Flight Plastics CEO Keith Smith said: “These products made at Flight Plastics won’t need disposal after use – they can be recycled again and again as customers return them via their recycle bin.”

Noting that recycling in the country is being stockpiled, Hannifin said that the company will reduce unnecessary packaging, particularly disposable packaging.

Hannifin added: “It’s also an perfect example of what a circular economy approach looks like in practice.  Flight Plastics source their plastic from the New Zealand waste stream.

“This means we not only avoid new plastic coming into New Zealand but we can help take pressure off the waste stream and avoid plastic ending up in the landfill.”

Countdown is set to start offering its new rPET products in stores from August this year.