How well do you think the current packaging industries are implementing sustainable practice, and do you think we are doing enough?
The packaging industry and their customers are certainly implementing more sustainable practices. We are making inroads as an industry and it is great to see that sustainability is now firmly on the agenda for many New Zealand businesses. There is an opportunity for us all to do more to help educate and raise awareness.
Today there is an abundance of options available for more eco-friendly packaging products. Businesses are making the shift to more environmentally friendly options and the bottom line is the end consumer expects it. Customers want to see a better alternative.
Do you think the industry's current path will be able to reduce its impact enough to meet the Paris Agreement?
The current industry path is definitely heading in the right direction and rate of change is increasing rapidly. We can all be doing more in this space to meet the Paris agreement and it’s important that everyone works together to increase the rate of change – the government, businesses and the consumer.
How do think it can be improved?
We think it is important that all business have a sustainability plan to guide the organisation towards improvements. This includes some clear goals, a constant focus on incremental improvements, engaging employees and allocating time and resource to the plan.
Our Purpose at RLB is to “make a positive difference to our customers, our team and our communities.” We are committed to continually develop lower waste products. We help businesses exceed sustainability targets and reduce their environmental impact by achieving more with less.
We encourage our team, our partners, and our clients to look at ways they can promote the 5 R’s of Remove, Reduce, Recycle, Renew and Re-Use at work and at home.
As part of our innovation framework, we are constantly developing our packaging range to provide more options for our customers. Ultimately, we believe that there is power in options. We encourage our customers to provide the end consumer with some options and let them decide their preferred packaging. We believe that if the end consumer is empowered to make that decision, then they are more likely to make responsible decisions with how best to dispose or reuse the packaging.
What is your view on the importance of sustainable practice over the past few years?
Sustainable practice needs to be at the top of the agenda for all New Zealand businesses.
Utopian ideas: In an ideal world what would your industry look like to you ?
It’s a double-edged sword in the sense that packaging serves a purpose to better protect and present goods. Without it, the likelihood of goods being damaged greatly increases. Due to strict quality controls, damaged goods are usually unable to be sold, and must be disposed of (many ending up in landfill).
In an ideal world, as an industry we can significantly reduce the amount of packaging materials being used by switching to lighter gauge or more sustainable options. For the materials that are used, we all promote a circular economy for our products. To do this we also believe that we need to be doing more at a government and private level to invest in the necessary infrastructure to collect, sort, and recycle packaging materials.