Business Central December 2021

50 | “We will reduce our landfill waste by over 80 tonnes each year and by shipping the cores back to Qingpu, they can be reused, creating a huge saving at the plant there, so it’s a win-win.” Wellington Gold Awards: Sealed Air - Porirua REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Recycling iniative a ‘win-win’ The Sealed Air Porirua team were finalists in the Green Gold category at this year’s Wellington Gold Awards. T Sue Russell Packaging Products are proud to be associated with Sealed Air - Porirua A t this year’s Wellington Gold Awards, Sealed Air Porirua were finalists in the Green Gold category with an innovative and far-reaching project to recycle core materials received from the company’s Qingpu site in China. To be part of a group of creatives, deter- mined to find ways to improve their footprint on the planet was an honour, says project leader Massey Cook. Sealed Air, Porirua is primarily concerned with manufacturing vacuum sealed food pack- aging products for distribution in New Zealand and for export. The plant employs approximately 100 peo- ple and is one of three Sealed Air facilities in New Zealand, with the head office located in Hamilton and a factory in Auckland. Massey is responsible at Porirua for Safety and Quality Management. He says because Sealed Air is a global entity, there’s a strong focus on collaboration across all sites, and he’s especially excited about the positive outcomes of this pioneering recycling project. “This project is now being rolled out across all our APAC sites as a ‘best practise’ initiative.” The project, named Plastic Wrapture, recycles Optidure core cylinders; Optidure is a high barrier product which protects meat, guaranteeing the product remains fresh for long periods of time. “Optidure cores are high density and until Plastic Wrapture, as a bi-product did not have any value attached to the waste stream. Now we store the cores in 20 foot or 40 foot containers until there is a container full to ship back to the Chinese plant. We are currently filling up one container a month.” The inspiration behind Plastic Wrapture came from the guys working on the floor at the plant. Massey says everyone on the site is keen to find ways to meet the company’s sustainability goals. “We will reduce our landfill waste by over 80 tonnes each year and by shipping the cores back to Qingpu, they can be reused, creating a huge saving at the plant there, so it’s a win- win.” Massey says Sealed Air’s culture is very much about engaging with those who actually work at the coal-face to continually improve how the site operates and the company recognises these achievements through the ‘keys to success’ program which are awarded to employees who have contributed to the company achieving its strategic goals. Plant Manager, Colin Henderson, describes Sealed Air as an integral part of New Zealand primary industry, supporting a large sector of local and exporting producers. “Sealed Air is a really future focussed company here and world-wide where there is a heavy investment in creating new technolo- gies and applications to meet growing global demand for high quality, fresh and healthy food products.” The plant is operational 24 hours, five days a week and has been on its site since 1958. “From my first day at the Porirua site, I have been impressed with the people here and they really are the strength of the site. Whilst Sealed Air are constantly looking at ways to innovate products and processes, there is also a real focus on creating a culture which encourages enterprise and engagement from all the team, and this project is an excellent example of that.” Massey says he’s pleased Plastic Wrapture was recognised by judges at the Wellington Gold Awards. “The Team did a great job and we’re espe- cially proud of the substantial environmental benefits this project has delivered.” “The Wellington Gold Awards was a positive experience and one we thoroughly enjoyed. I was very happy for the team that this project received the recognition it did.” It is initiatives like this that really embody the Sealed Air purpose statement ‘We are in the business to protect, to solve critical packaging challenges, and to make our world better than we found it.’