The waste trimming champions

From office products and oil drums to food packaging and detergent containers – winners in this year’s awards for environmentally acceptable packaging help to highlight the broad scope both of the awards and of the packaging industry.
The awards, initiated and run biennially by the Packaging Council of NZ (PCNZ), this year attracted 50 entries – double the 2001 tally – with winners announced at gala evening presentation on August 29.
Winner of both the 3M Innovation in Design and PCNZ’s Supreme Awards was Caltex’s new 60-litre plastic drum that contains up to 55 percent recycled HDPE milk bottles. Developed by Vertex Pacific, the new product is believed to be the first steel drum substitution in Chevron Texaco worldwide and won plaudits for considering the whole product lifecycle.
A new pouch-packed apple product that delivers more volume in 59 percent lighter container won Enzafoods the Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Systems Award. The durable, high-barrier plastic pack (pictured right) reduces storage and freight space – and cost.
Cone-seal caps made from recyclable HDPE earned NZ Dairy Foods the AEP Industries’ Plastic Award. The caps, made by Alto Plastics, replace non-recyclable ones and, because they seal better, help reduce production waste. The company also uses recyclable HDPE crates as outer packaging for its milk containers.
A two-piece washing powder carton made from 80 percent recycled board saw Unilever Australia and Amcor Cartons Australasia picking up the Carter Holt Harvey Packaging Paper Award. The judges praised the cooperative approach between client and supplier for successfully reducing material usage and waste.
The Auckland Regional Council Environmental Impact Award went to Carter Holt Harvey Case for its print cleaning upgrade that both reduced chemical and water usage and prevented run-off to the stormwater system.
Judges praised the Toner Recycling Centre (TRC) for its effective educational material and proactive collection system that offers incentives to recycle used and empty printer, fax and photocopier cartridges. TRC has so far collected the equivalent of 350 tonnes of non-biodegradable plastic, granulating it on site for export to an Australian partner who re-uses it in range of products. This effort earned TRC the ACI Glass Packaging Award for Programme Encouraging Materials Recovery.
The Palmerston North Council earned the Steel Can Association of New Zealand’s Award for Best Practice by Council in the recovery of steel cans for achieving dramatic 20.7 percent increase through well-targeted educational and promotion efforts.
Also earning plaudits for materials recovery and re-use were ACI Glass Packaging and Visy Recycling. They earned the Vertex Pacific Recovered Packaging Award for high level of recycled glass use. Recycled material (cullet) comprises more than 50 percent of each new bottle made by ACI and up to 75 percent of the 330ml bottles it makes for the Heineken and Stella Artois brands.
Three tertiary design students won awards from Amcor Flexibles for Conceptual Design. They were Anna Gibson – Wanganui School of Design, Sarah Chatterton – Institute of Technology & Engineering (ITE), Massey University, and Oliver Gleeson – also from ITE, Massey.

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