Industry leading packaging company Jenkins Freshpac Systems has welcomed the release of the Government’s changes to New Zealand’s waste system, heralding it as a pivotal moment of clarity that sets the framework for industry wide alignment and investment.
Jenkins Freshpac has been at the forefront of an industry led drive for a government led strategy on New Zealand’s waste system, including recycling and disposal of waste. Sales Manager, Consumables, Ann Cameron, says the Government’s new three-decade strategy gives the clarity they have been calling for.
“We’ve been beating this drum for years; we’ve engaged with ministers and ministries calling for strategy and leadership around packaging and waste management, including having seats on the boards of Packaging New Zealand and the Soft Plastics Scheme which are key parts of the future of packaging and recycling.
“The lack of a strategy we can all adopt, until now, has hindered the ability of the industry to accelerate new technologies that are in alignment. Now we have a strategy to wrap around and whilst we still need some detail around some of the framework, it has the potential to be a landmark moment for our industry and stakeholders.”
As leaders in the sector Jenkins has worked hard to bring together a united message that considers all stakeholders from raw material manufacturers to produce packers and the end user consumer.
“At Jenkins Freshpac we continually trawl the world looking for best of breed innovations for the unique challenges faced in NZ and our proximity to our export markets. We will continue to lead on this front and to ensure there is a shared responsibility to onboard new technologies, packaging formats and best practices to meet the goals of the Waste Strategy both in terms of the industry and the consumer,” says Ann.
The new Waste Strategy, committing to New Zealand becoming a low-emissions, low-waste circular economy by 2050, calls for a shift away from the wasteful ‘take–make–dispose’ system.
The three phases, with goals building on those from each previous phase, are intended to create momentum over time and achieve better waste management in New Zealand more in keeping with other developed countries.
The strategy sets about reform in the following ways:
- A new waste strategy to set New Zealand’s direction on waste for the next three decades
- New and more comprehensive waste legislation
- Improved household recycling and food scrap collections, making it easier for people to recycle and divert food scraps from landfills.
Ann Cameron says achieving the strategy goals will require systemic change.
“Understanding all facets of the strategy and ensuring we have a robust balance of alignment with a clear focus on continuing to push our sector to explore new and better ways of packaging, through strong investment in new technologies that deliver better outcomes, will ensure we play an active and formative part in the strategy.
“Without a strategy or clear intent from government, it was very challenging to have deep discussions with the industry on the evolution of the packaging formats best suited to their produce and application.
“Currently, no two regions support the same recycling initiatives and systems. This means that while a Jenkins customer may have an environmentally friendly and easily recyclable pack format in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, it may not be kerbside recyclable in other regions. This has stalled progress and investment by the industry for fear of backing the wrong horse and needing to retrench or reinvest once a strategy became clear.”
Ann says the clarity and strategy is now known meaning the post-harvest industry can now invest with confidence in new packaging formats that will be durable and recycled nationally.
By continuing to invest in research and development around new materiaIs, packaging designs and advancements in recycling technology Jenkins Freshpac will continue to ensure they play their part in the industry’s progress towards the Governments targets around waste minimisation and a circular economy.
“We’re pretty proud of the fact that for those requiring the best packaging solutions, we remain the best shot to being a part of a more sustainable future and on the right trajectory to a circular economy.”