Butcheries announce move to banish polystyrene trays
Nineteen New World and PAK'nSAVE stores throughout the country
have been trialling a great piece of Kiwi ingenuity, a recyclable
plastic meat tray, meaning the environmentally unfriendly
polystyrene tray, which is commonly seen across supermarkets, days
are well and truly numbered.
Creating a suitable alternative to the useful but hard to
dispose of polystyrene trays has been a long running global
Currently the problem remains that literally hundreds of
millions of polystyrene trays are sent to landfill every year after
being in use for about one week. Up until now there's been no real
alternative but to landfill the used product as polystyrene is not
accepted via kerbside schemes.
According to Mike Sammons, Sustainability Manager, Foodstuffs
New Zealand Ltd the business decided to ask itself - Could we find
a truly workable, sustainable alternative to the 'destined for
landfill' foam meat trays?
"Any replacement product needs to look better, work just as
well, be available at the same cost and be 100% recyclable at
kerbside," says Sammons. "But we are determined to listen to our
customers who have been clear in telling us it's time to move
towards packaging that is more environmentally friendly."
After two years of product development, the team at New World
and PAK'nSAVE think they might have cracked it says Mike
"Our packaging partner, Alto Packaging, developed, designed and
manufactured a recyclable plastic tray to our specifications, that
is currently being trialled in 19 New World and PAK'nSAVE stores
around the country," says Sammons. "The meat tray ticks all the
right boxes in terms of sustainability and performance and
furthermore it's made right here by one of New Zealand's leading
rigid plastic packaging companies."
Initial results from the trial are looking very promising with
88% of customers rating the overall performance of the packs as
better than the traditional polystyrene packs, and a further 10% of
customers rating performance on par with the traditional
Sample customer feedback has been extremely positive with the
below comments capturing general customer sentiment;
- "can put in the recycle bin which is much more convenient"
- "seems to curb the liquid spilling out"
- "looks better"
- "clean, fresh and environmentally friendly"
The new tray comprises 50% recycled material and is accepted by
every kerbside recycling scheme across New Zealand and as its made
of clear plastic not black, it can be easily separated in the
"It's also easy for customers to recycle. All the user has to do
is give the used meat tray a quick rinse under the tap as you do
with a lot of other recyclable packaging and pop it in the
recycling bin," confirms Sammons. "By moving to this tray, New
World and PAK'nSAVE customers can avoid sending the equivalent of
14 Olympic size swimming pools full of polystyrene to landfill each
But the innovations don't stop at the trays ability to be
recycled say Sammons. The real innovation lies in the trays ability
to capture fluid in the base. The little 'dimples' in the bottom of
the tray hold the fluid there even when tilted or turned upside
down, meaning customers don't have to worry about any nasty meat
fluids getting in amongst their shopping.
Working with councils, recyclers and Alto Packaging means the
inclusive process undertaken to bring the new trays to market
ensure they will not only perform as required but customers can be
assured they are 100% able to be recycled, says Sammons.
The recyclable plastic meat tray is just one of a number of
sustainable innovations New World and PAK'nSAVE are bringing to the
market over the next year, and Sammons confirms the business is
committed to leading the charge on providing sustainable
supermarket shopping solutions.