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Emma Welsh, who will be on the panel at our Breaking Boundaries LIVE industry conference on 4 August in Sydney, shared her story of success and sustainability with PKN.

Welsh founded the Melbourne-based juice brand Emma & Tom's with her childhood friend Tom Griffith back in 2004.

With the aim of producing a health food brand backed by “'real' people using real, fresh ingredients,” the pair went up against Nudie in the fresh, premium fruit juice space with a new, sustainable concept.

Welsh and Griffith both came from corporate backgrounds and had dabbled in a variety of jobs before taking the plunge with their own version of healthy, whole fruit juices.

Visy approached us with the idea of developing food-grade recycled PET plastic for our bottles, which we eventually launched in collaboration with Visy and Sustainability Victoria.”

The company has gone from strength to strength, and is now looking to expand into South-East Asia.

"Consumers there are very interested in Australia’s healthy, clean products," she says.

"The key challenge is to find the right people to represent our brand in each market. The opportunity is the growing affluence of consumers in those markets and their size."

As they plot their move, they recognise that being sustainable is about being efficient, and a partnership with Visy has helped them in this.

“Visy approached us with the idea of developing food-grade recycled PET plastic for our bottles, which we eventually launched in collaboration with Visy and Sustainability Victoria,” Welsh says.

"As a result, every year in Australia, Emma & Tom's alone is saving more than two million bottles worth of virgin plastic by using recycled food-grade plastic instead."

Another move for the company was to stop using cartons for packaging on its PET bottles, saving money and lessening its environmental impact.

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“Instead we shrink-wrap the bottles, which is cheaper than cartons, and the plastic is collected and binned each week.

“We are also trying to reduce the weight of the bottle down to 19g if possible.”

The team is also now working on reducing freight by optimising where the products are made and having more manufacturing sites.

"We are constantly looking for ways to make Emma & Tom's more efficient and sustainable so that it makes an increasingly positive contribution to society."

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A TEAM EFFORT

The team behind the Emma & Tom’s brand wanted their packaging to be as sustainable and healthy for the planet as possible.

Working with Sustainability Victoria under the Beyond Best Practice program as well as Visy Industries, plastics materials consultant Nextek was able to evaluate the performance of a juice bottle made with 100% post-consumer recycled PET.

Based in Australia and the UK, Nextek provides help in the design, optimisation, processing, and recycling of plastics materials.

It has experience designing and building plants for recycling of post-consumer plastic wastes into high value applications such as food grade PET bottles and HDPE milk bottles that can be used in new food packaging applications.

FOUR WAYS EMMA & TOM'S PRACTICES SUSTAINABILITY

The company uses 50% post-consumer food-grade recycled PET plastic for its bottles.

Emma & Tom’s ceased using cartons for its packaging, saving money and lessening its environmental impact. Instead, it uses a shrink wrap which is collected and binned responsibly every week.

It is working on reducing the weight of bottles down to 19g.

Having more factories instead of one also allows Emma & Tom’s to reduce the cost and environmental impact of trucking its products around Australia.

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