PakTech partners with Visy to manufacture in Australia

PakTech, manufacturer of recycled and recyclable secondary packaging, has announced a partnership to have its products manufactured in Australia.

While PakTech’s plastic four- and six-pack holders have been available in Australia for years, the company has today announced it has established “an on-the-ground-presence, with a contract manufacturing facility in Victoria and proprietary partnership with Visy.”

The company says its contract arrangements give it the capacity to manufacture 100 million units annually within Australia.

Despite an embargoed statement (below) heralding the agreement’s environmental benefits being distributed to Australian media last week, the company declined to make a representative available to answer further questions prior to the embargo lifting this morning.

While the local manufacturing arrangements reduce international shipping and the associated carbon footprint for the products, many of the product’s environmental claims rely on an effective recycling program to capture and reuse the products, an issue that the company has not addressed in the release.

While the products can be used up to 20 times, in the promised circular economy, there is no effective, widescale program in place to ensure the packaging is recovered and not ending up in landfill.

To date, circular economy programs have been limited to trials through such as the IBA’s partnership with Endeavour, and individual efforts by sustainability-focused businesses such as Bright Brewery and Western Australia’s Donut Waste.

The media release heralds Australia’s recycling rates, driven by the convenience of kerbside collection. However, PakTechs are not recyclable through kerbside collection, with even Endeavour Group, Australia’s largest beer retailer, advising brewers that the holders can’t be recycled by that common process.

The company has noted that local council recycling sites that process kerbside collected waste use infrared detectors to separate waste, with the detectors unable to differentiate the black tint leaving the packaging to be rejected for recycling.

The release provides no details about the success of the limited recycling trials, whether there are recycling targets for the 100 million to be manufactured each year, or whether industry negotiations with Visy to set up viable recycling programs have progressed.

Solving the recycling of plastic packaging is significant for the industry to face as it moves towards an increased sustainability footprint, with significant work to be done for plastic to delivering its much-hyped reuse benefits and current alternatives proving a challenge for brewers.

Media Release

PakTech, US sustainable packaging producer, brings technology and industry-leading recycled plastics manufacturing to Australia

Melbourne, Australia, 7 June 2023 – PakTech, the leading producer of sustainable secondary packaging solutions, has announced its official launch in Australia, through which its technology, manufacturing and products will enable the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries to respond to the growing ESG pressures and consumer demand for sustainable packaging and practices.

Embracing an entirely circular economy model, PakTech is the leading manufacturer of 100% recycled and recyclable secondary packaging. Later this year, using its proprietary technology, PakTech will have the capacity to manufacture 100 million recycled injection moulded packaging handles for cans, bottles and other containers, annually within Australia.

Having experienced significant organic growth in Australia in recent years, the company is now establishing an on-the-ground-presence, with a contract manufacturing facility in Victoria and proprietary partnership with Visy. Through it, PakTech will be able to tap burgeoning demand and fulfil its vision: made in Australia, recycled in Australia, and repurposed again into new PakTech products in Australia.

Locally, PakTech’s existing customers include Hawkers Brewery, Billson’s of Beechworth and The Apple Press. Its launch in Australia comes as public demand for sustainable packaging and practices skyrockets. In the US, PakTech counts brewers such as pFriem Brewing, Independence Brewing Co, Sycamore Brewing and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies like Pepsi, KraftHeinz and Johnson & Johnson as customers, and has seen continued strong growth for sustainable multipack products.

Commenting on PakTech’s arrival in Australia, CEO Brandon Rogers said: “Conscious consumerism is flourishing, and pressure from consumers around the world is forcing brands and retailers to rethink their approach to sustainable packaging. Sustainability and the circular economy is no longer a competitive differentiator, it’s an expectation.

“Australia’s buying habits are very similar to ours in the US. We’ve seen significant organic growth in recent years; and we forecast that will continue in the coming years. Establishing an on-the-ground local footprint in the region is incredibly exciting; not only for PakTech, but for our customers and everyone in Australia who cares about sustainability and our impact on the environment.

“Through our launch in Australia, we’re helping our customers meet not only their customer needs, but also regulatory requirements too. As ESG pressures and the need for transparency increases, many companies are setting internal sustainability goals to meet regulatory mandates or customer or shareholder demands. But rather than setting goals of 25% recycled content by 2025, PakTech enables businesses to use 100% recycled content today. We’re incredibly excited by this potential, and joining an Australian market. There’s work still to be done, but we’re humbled to be able to play our part.”

According to a report from environmental consultancy firm Eunomia Research and Consulting and the European Environmental Bureau, Australia’s recycling rate ranked 21 in a list of 25 developed economies. Its recycling rate of 41.6% is higher than only Finland, France, Hong Kong and the United States.

Australia is yet to mandate legislation, but could follow the lead of other markets like the UK and the US which are in the process of establishing formal legislation regarding the use of plastics.

PakTech handles are made from 100% recycled HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), a Type 2 polyethylene thermoplastic. Since using 100% recycled material, almost one billion milk jugs have been recycled, 120 million pounds of plastics saved from landfills and oceans, and almost 50 acres of land saved from landfill waste by repurposing recycled containers into PakTech products.

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