The US states Texas and California are being targeted by Lewis Road Creamery for its specialty butter.
The move is part of LRC’s commitment to the New Zealand Packaging Declaration, committing to 100% of its packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 or earlier.
Lewis Road is the first milk producer in the country to change to rPET bottles which are made from entirely recycled plastic; no new plastic is created to produce the bottles, which can then be continuously recycled.
The switch to rPET for its 750ml and 1.5 litre bottles will save approximately 210 tonnes of plastic being produced and imported into New Zealand each year. Lewis Road says the change will account for 80 percent of the plastic it uses.
“We know the dairy industry uses a lot of plastic and we want to take responsibility for our share of that,” says Lewis Road founder Peter Cullinane.
“We want to move quickly and do something now, so changing to a recycled plastic that can be recycled again and again is our first step.”
As part of a wider packaging review, Lewis Road has also become the first dairy company to sign up to the New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration, committing to more sustainable packaging solutions.
“We love fresh milk, but not fresh plastic. We believe bottles that require no new plastic are a great step.”
“And we’re closely assessing the feasibility of other options too, including glass. Longer term, we believe the answer will be a mix of solutions including both rPet and glass. The good news is that we can take this big step immediately and then keep going,” says Cullinane.
Lewis Road’s 750ml and 1.5 litre white and flavoured milk bottles will start to transition to rPET bottles from 27 August with the changeover expected to be complete by 17 September.
The bottles can be recycled as normal by consumers rinsing and placing them into their kerbside recycling bins.