Sealord has joined recycling specialist TerraCycle to provide consumers with an innovative recycling option for pouch packaging used in its new Tuna Pockets and Tuna Express ranges.
Through the new Sealord Pouch Recycling Programme, consumers collect pouches at home or work, clean and dry them, and freepost them to TerraCycle in any used box. The pouch materials are then pelletised and can be used to make plastic goods such as park benches, watering cans and waste bins.
Sealord says the initiative is a direct result of consumer feedback, and puts the company ahead of many food companies using these types of pouches.
“Consumers love the freshness and complexity of flavours made possible by shorter cooking times, but they didn’t like that the pouches could not be recycled,” Sealord senior brand manager Craig Harrison says.
Although increasingly popular with food manufacturers and consumers alike, most pouch packaging is not yet recyclable through standard New Zealand council services. “While it’s not possible to achieve the same taste profile with cans, our partnership with TerraCycle gives consumers the option to divert this product packaging from landfill. So it is a win-win on taste and recyclability,” Harrison says.
TerraCycle general manager Jean Bailliard says the new nationwide initiative is set to benefit the environment as well as local charities and community groups. “TerraCycle recycles the ‘unrecyclable’ – we look at waste solutions for items that are deemed difficult to recycle. Our free and easy-to-operate recycling programmes also allow collectors to raise money for their local school or favourite charity.”
Collectors will be awarded with two cents for every pouch they collect, and once they’ve collected $10 across any of TerraCycle’s programmes, they can donate the funds to their favourite charity or school.
Sealord, which packages the majority of its products in recyclable cans and boxes, says it regularly reviews its packaging and will also continue to investigate other recyclable options as available.
TerraCycle has already kept more than four billion pieces of food and beverage packaging and other waste from going to the landfill, and with its partners, donated more than $15 million to charity and schools through its various programmes. TerraCycle is currently creating solutions for other difficult to recycle, but widely discarded waste streams such as cigarettes and used chewing gum.