Woolworths and Pact in proposed partnership to boost recycled packaging

This article first appeared on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Tom Oakley-Newell

Woolworths Group is looking to establish Pact as its key strategic partner by volume in its efforts to deliver more sustainable packaging across its own brand range.

The proposed partnership would boost circular packaging and could see up to 18,000 tonnes of recycled plastic used in Woolworths’ own brand packaging each year, equating an estimated decrease in carbon emissions of almost 25,000 tonnes, and would also represent a multimillion-dollar investment in local recycling and manufacturing capacity.

Rob McCartney, Managing Director of Format and Network Development at Woolworths Group, said as Australia’s largest retailer it has a responsibility to make the products its customers put in their shopping baskets better for the environment.

“We’re working hard to remove plastic from packaging like our bakery trays, however it can be necessary to protect quality and food safety in some products – which is why replacing it with recycled plastic is the next best thing.

“Across the scale of our range, the real challenge is sourcing quality recycled material in the volumes we need and ensuring it’s coming from within Australia to support the development of our local circular economy and avoid shipping emissions.”

Pact currently operate five plastic recycling facilities in Australia, with another four facilities planned for construction by 2025, and is also investing $76 million to install new technology and equipment across its packaging manufacturing facilities.

Sanjay Dayal, CEO and Managing Director of Pact Group, said they know that consumers and businesses are increasingly demanding recycled and recyclable plastic packaging and that Pact is working with committed partners like Woolworths Group to drive that change.

“Plastic packaging that is designed effectively, that is recyclable and recycled properly in Australia can be used again and again, creating a truly local circular economy for plastics.”

James Griffin, NSW Minister for Environment, said it is great to see businesses working in partnership with their customers to move to more sustainable packaging and help develop a circular economy.

“This exciting initiative will support the NSW Government’s ambitious goal to triple the plastics recycling rate by 2030 and reduce plastics from entering our environment as litter or going to landfill.”

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