Flight Plastics has opened a plastic packaging plant which makes food grade PET packaging from recycled PET (RPET) flake.
The business has been producing food grade RPET plastic in the UK for five years and is now introducing the technology to New Zealand at a site in Lower Hutt, Wellington.
Kevin Mills, managing director, Flight Plastics UK, confirmed the announcement with FoodProductionDaily.com
The company has invested in a multi-million dollar machine called the Bandera - the first of its kind in New Zealand that runs 24 hours, five days a week, to pump out plastic packaging made from about 85% recycled PET plastic.
Flight Plastics claims 17,000 tonnes of pet packaging is consumed in New Zealand every year but most of it is sent overseas and processed in wash plants to make recycled PET flakes.
Derek Lander, director, Flight Plastics, said the company is now looking into the cost of setting up a wash plant locally so the whole process can be done in New Zealand.
"Research shows 87% of New Zealanders want 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 plant in Hampshire, England now uses recycled PET flakes."
Locally imported RPET flakes
"Our new plant in Lower Hutt will produce food packaging made from recycled PET and supports New Zealand’s domestic and export economy enabling food producers to buy, for the first time, packaging made locally from imported recycled PET flakes.
Being able to manufacture RPET plastic products right here at the exact size and volume required means we can respond quickly to customer demands.
"The logical next step is expanding the plant to produce RPET flakes from PET drinks containers and food packaging collected at kerbside here in New Zealand. We are currently looking at the economics of installing a wash plant to do this."
Flight Group is a New Zealand based privately owned business specialising in plastics and timber. The plastics manufacturing plants are located in Wellington; Adelaide and Romsey (UK). The forestry and timber businesses are based in Marlborough.