In line with its ambitious sustainability targets, food manufacturer Goodman Fielder has changed the packaging for Praise Mayo and Aioli, with bottles and jars made by Pact Group using 100 per cent recycled PET and marking an Australian-first in the mayonnaise category.

With 12.4 million bottles of Praise consumed across Australia every year, the shift to recycled packaging will save 380 tonnes of virgin plastic every year. The jars, bottles and caps are also 100 per cent recyclable.

Mick Anderson, head of sustainability at Goodman Fielder told PKN the company has been working on this project for close on two years. He said the challenges included finding an Australian source of sufficient volumes of the post-consumer, food-grade, recycled PET to meet production demands, that was reasonably priced.

Anderson said that extensive R&D was involved in the bottle development in partnership with Pact. teh company trialled different percentage levels of recycled content 30, 50 and ultimately, 100 per cent. He said overcoming the challenge of discolouration that can at times occur with rPET was important, because the mayonnaise product is white, and this would impact the visual appearance of the brand on shelf. Another factor was that on the production line, the visual inspection systems would reject discoloured bottles.

"It’s been a long journey to get us to this exciting point of having a bottle and jar made locally from 100% post consumer recycled PET,” he said.

“Sustainable packaging is about more than simply recycling a product; it’s about building a circular economy by buying back products made from recycled materials. Now with every bottle or jar of Praise Mayo and Aioli that Aussies buy, they can help their packaging live on simply by recycling it.”

Anderson added that packaging changes are only one part of Goodman Fielder’s broader sustainability strategy, noting that all Goodman Fielder operated sites use 100 per cent renewable electricity.

He said the company has a pipeline of sustainable packaging roll-outs and pointed to the recent announcement of a shift to cardboard bread tags, and the launch in New Zealand of rHDPE milk bottles (also in partnership with Pact) for the Meadowfresh milk brand.

In time for this rPET packaging launch, the Praise brand has also entered a partnership with Take 3 for the Sea, a community organisation working on reducing reliance on virgin plastic, while also limiting its environmental impact. As part of the partnership, Praise will be involved in an upcoming 'Plastic Free for the Sea' event in Sydney to take place in mid-November. 

Sarah Beard, CEO of Take 3 for the Sea says, “Plastic production from new, finite resources must decrease if we are to protect our oceans and wildlife. If plastic is to be used, it must fit within the circular economy that is modelled on nature where there is no such thing as waste and is renewable and regenerative by design.”

She says that Praise is “leading the way” and that Take 3 is proud to be partnering with the brand in this major announcement, which she hopes is the start of a new movement towards 100% recycled plastic.

This article first appeared in our sister title PKN Packaging News.

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