Setting the Benchmark for Recycled Content

In a first for New Zealand mainstream high-volume milk, all bottles of Meadow Fresh one- and two-litre fresh milk will from today be made of 30 per cent rHDPE; reducing the amount of virgin plastic (plastic that has never been used before) originating from Meadow Fresh bottles by 250 tonnes annually.

With current global best practice for food-grade HDPE recycling enabling resource reuse of about 25 percent of recycled content, this step sets Meadow Fresh apart from other mainstream dairy brands in New Zealand.

Goodman Fielder New Zealand CEO, Bernard Duignan noted the move is an important milestone for the business.

“Making it easier for consumers to make the right choice for our planet is key to ensuring a better future. We are thrilled to introduce a solution that provides consumers a choice to make a better impact on the planet with Meadow Fresh milk, without impacting their wallets.”

Part of Meadow Fresh’s commitment to a circular economy is designing for recycling, and a key feature of the new Meadow Fresh bottle is that it doesn’t contain white resin. The removal of this white resin allows for the bottle to be recycled into new plastic bottles and other food packaging. The previous version of the bottle did contain white resin and could only be used in non-food packaging items such as crates and building products.

“In removing the white resin from our bottles we are making it easier and more attractive for recycling,” continued Duignan.

Professor Johan Verbeek, Director at the Plastics Centre of Excellence and member of the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering, believes the move is good for consumers and the planet.

“It is fantastic to see how the New Zealand industry is responding to their responsibility towards a circular economy for plastics,” expressed Verbeek.

“Designing packaging to fit with our current infrastructure is critical for improving recycling. The decision to remove white pigment is a very wise decision and certainly a big step in the right direction. This is certainly a great example for other brand owners to show that including significantly more recycled content in the products is certainly achievable.”

In addition to today’s launch of a more sustainable bottle, 2021 has already seen Meadow Fresh operated sites switch to using 100 per cent renewable electricity, and the business is also actively participating in EECA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Program to develop road maps to zero emissions at each site.

You can find out more about Goodman Fielder’s sustainability efforts on the company’s website.