Flight Plastics recycles first 1000 tonnes of PET bottles
After opening New Zealand’s first PET plastic recycling plant in August, Flight Plastics has unloaded its 1,000th tonne of waste PET bottles and containers for processing.
The PET plastic recycled by Flight is principally collected at kerbside from homes across New Zealand and converted back into recycled PET (RPET) containers, punnets and trays to be used by some of New Zealand’s leading food brands and retailers.
The Flight Plastics recycling plant has the capacity to process 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes of recycled PET per annum. Flight can further expand as recycling volumes and market demand for recycled packaging products increase.
Flight Plastics Director Derek Lander says:
“Today is another milestone for Flight and for our customers. 1000 tonnes of PET plastic waste means around 25 million PET drinks bottles recycled by Kiwis are re-manufactured here in New Zealand into new trays and punnets which our customers use to package fruit, biscuits, produce, bakery goods and meat.”
“Since commissioning our new plant we’ve already saved 1,000 tonnes of new plastic being imported to New Zealand, and in doing so have also saved 1,000 tonnes of waste PET from the traditional waste stream.”
“When people choose to recycle and choose packaging marked New Zealand Recycled Plastic, they know that the plastic is from New Zealand’s own recycling and can be recycled again and again to make new food containers and trays – each time saving the import of more and more plastic to New Zealand.”
“This is the PET plastic “Circular Economy” in action – and to explain to New Zealanders what it means, and why it’s so important, we have produced a short video
“Under the traditional Linear Economy model, thousands of tonnes of PET plastics are imported every year to package products sold by New Zealand brands and supermarkets.
Before Flight Plastics opened its wash plant, if people put their PET plastic containers in the recycling bin it would all be shipped overseas for recycling. Any not put in the recycling bin goes into our environment or landfill.”
“Now when you put your PET bottles and containers in your recycling bin, Flight Plastics can re-make them into food grade PET packaging, which other consumers buy again, and can recycle again. Time after time this cycle can repeat, and from this simple change we immediately reduce the amount of PET resin, trays and containers we import and reduce the equivalent amount of waste to export or landfill.”
“This is a great opportunity for all of us in New Zealand to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we are bringing into our country. But this can only happen if all the steps of the Circular Economy are involved – New Zealand manufacturers and supermarkets use trays and containers made from New Zealand Recycled Plastic, consumers buy and recycle those trays and containers, Flight buys and reuses that plastic for new trays and containers, and that circle can repeat, again and again.”
“New Zealand will see tremendous economic and environmental benefits the more we recycle what is already here”.
“We are asking New Zealanders to take three simple steps which will really make a difference:
1. When you buy products in clear plastic containers and trays (e.g. fruit and salad punnets, bakery trays, meat trays) look for the Flight logo and the words “New Zealand Recycled Plastic.
2. Ask your supermarket or favourite brand if their food containers and meat trays are made from New Zealand Recycled Plastic; and
3. Put all PET drinks bottles, containers and trays in your recycling bins (PET plastic is marked with number 1)”