New Zealand firm opens PET recycling plant

Flight Plastics opens facility that will make food-grade PET packaging from recycled PET flake.

February 5, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

Flight Plastics, a New Zealand-based packaging firm, has opened a plastics packaging plant that will manufacture food-grade PET packaging from recycled PET flake. The company says the facility is the first plant in New Zealand to make food-grade packaging from recycled PET.

Flight Plastics was established in Wellington, N.Z., more than 100 years ago, has been producing food-grade recycled PET plastic in the U.K. for five years and is now introducing the recycling technology in New Zealand at the recently developed site in Lower Hutt.

“Research shows that 87 percent of New Zealanders want their packaging to be recyclable and to contain where possible recycled materials. That’s been our experience in the U.K. too where the majority of what we produce at our plant in Hampshire, England now uses recycled PET flakes,” says Derek Lander, Flight Plastics’ director.

“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 and efficiently to changing customer demands,” Lander adds.

In a press release, Lander adds, “The logical next step to be considered is expanding the plant further to produce the recycled PET flakes from PET drinks containers and food packaging collected at curbside here in New Zealand. We are currently looking at the economics of installing a wash plant to do this.”