Hawkes Bay Dairy Company Tackles Plastic Bottle Mountain

NEW ZEALAND - Hawkes Bay dairy processor, Origin Earth, this week launches its’ vision to remove 2500 two litre plastic milk bottles from the recycling waste stream every week.
calendar icon 25 May 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

Trials with some of its larger milk customers have been completed and its tank system is ready to go.

Origin Earth has been supplying single farm origin milk to its customers since 2010.

"A substantial part of our business is with single customer, bulk users of milk. Many of these customers are using 100s of single use plastic milk bottles a week. If we can transition those users to our new system we can potentially remove tonnes of single use milk bottles from the Hawkes Bay waste stream," says Joanie Williams, co-owner/director of Origin Earth.

Origin Earth has also applied for funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund, to enable the company to do further research and development, in order to create a complete bulk milk system that could be used outside the immediate Hawkes Bay area.

"Our initial trials started at Hereworth School and that single customer has already saved close to 1000 two litre bottles since February. That is just one customer," says the company.

Origin Earth is partnering with the Napier and Hastings District Councils, through the Great Things Grow Here campaign.

"Now that China is no longer an outlet for many of our waste streams local councils have begun waste minimisation awareness. This initiative fits very well with the changes that have taken place," says Origin Earth.

To help with increasing demand Origin Earth has purchased a new delivery van which is sign written to raise awareness of the problem.

"Whilst we have passed the cost saving involved in plastic bottles and labels on to customers, the cleaning process for the re-useable tanks has to be fool proof and covered by our Food Control Plan.

"The whole point of this exercise is that it actually costs to care. Yes, there is a little extra work but knowing we are responsible for 10 fewer bins of café milk bottles going to landfill today makes us proud …. And that is just from our existing customers!"

"Partner with us to make a difference"

Origin Earth was conceived with milk quality and on-farm sustainability as core values back in 2010.

The company says: "It has always worried us that that sustainability was not possible from our factory output point of view. There is just no alternative within the Food Safety Regulations to use anything but plastic milk bottles.

"When you consider that the amount of plastic covering a $150 beef fillet is probably a half of the plastic covering 1 litre of milk, worth $3.50, you start to understand our concerns."

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