Up until now, boxes made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) were used
due to their light weight and good insulating properties. However, EPS
is not readily recyclable in New Zealand and therefore where stores were
not able to offer the boxes to customers or staff for re-use, they were
left with squeezing them into the rubbish skip and sending them to
In an effort to find a more sustainable, cost effective alternative,
Foodstuffs North Island Ltd partnered with its fish processor Sanford
Ltd and Charta Packaging Ltd, a company with branches in Auckland and
Wellington that supplies some of New Zealand's leading brands across the
food, meat, fish, dairy, and wine industries.
"Trials involving various prototype boxes revealed the insulated
cardboard alternatives delivering exactly, the required performance in
terms of keeping the product at the required temperature from market to
store," says Baden Ngan Kee, General Manager Merchandise, Foodstuffs
North Island Ltd.
Pat Roe, Account Manager, Charta Packaging Ltd says, "The boxes we
supply are 100% recyclable for stores. Additionally, the corrugated
middle section of the cardboard comprises 100% recycled material,
reducing the environmental footprint further. To ensure the product is
completely sustainable, we ensure the new papers on the inside and
outside of the cardboard sandwich are sourced from certified sustainably
"Even the adhesive used to bond the outer and inner layers of paper
to the corrugated core is made from natural starch extracted from
tapioca and as only water-based inks and coating are used this means
every box part that can be is recyclable," confirms Roe.
Ngan Kee says, "That the boxes are another step towards Foodstuffs
delivering on its public commitment to move its packaging to be 100%
recyclable for both its customers and stores."
"The new packaging demonstrated a really positive environmental step
forward for Foodstuffs Seafood Division, as the new boxes can be
recycled via stores cardboard cages or balers meaning a massive
reduction in the amount of EPS going to landfill," continued Ngan Kee.
"To add some perspective the North Island business uses several
thousand polybins every week across its PAK?nSAVE and New World brands.
We estimate the business could avoid sending approximately 2,250 cubic
metres of EPS to landfill every year," says Ngan Kee. "Which if spread
out would cover eight and a half rugby pitches, a reduced environmental
impact which we are really proud to be achieving."