Around 422 recycling bins have been delivered to schools across Northland this week in a bid to educate children about the positive impacts of recycling and ensure all Fonterra Milk for Schools packaging is effectively recovered.
Fonterra Brands New Zealand Business Manager Beverages, Craig Irwin, says dealing with used packaging in a responsible way is a priority of the programme.
“We want Fonterra Milk for Schools to be a positive programme all round and this means we need to manage the used milk packs in a way that is good for the environment.
“As well as that, the programme provides an opportunity to educate children about the importance of recycling. A lot of effort has gone into making the recycling aspect interesting, understandable and fun,” says Mr Irwin.
Schools have received quick guides and a video which explain the recycling process and show the children how to fold their milk packs to make them smaller, reducing the amount of space taken up for storage and transportation, and to seal the straw hole, preventing the used packs from smelling.
“We are also providing each school with recycling bins that are lined with a removable plastic bag to store the used packs in. Once the bags are full we will pick them up and bring them back to our Takanini site,” says Mr Irwin.
At the site the bags will be baled and then sent to Thailand to complete the recycling process.
“In Thailand the packaging is turned into a material that is used to make desks, cupboards, roofing and has even been used to make small boats.”
There are currently no facilities in New Zealand that have the ability to recycle this type of packaging, making the facility in Thailand the closest and most eco-efficient process to recover the used packaging resource.