Fonterra has announced plans to have 100 percent sustainable packaging by 2025, and to cut the amount of solid waste going into landfills to zero by the same year.
The dairy giant wants to have its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and has embarked on a review of the way its products are packaged.
- Fonterra disappointed in review of dairy industry laws
- Fonterra making move to environmentally cleaner fuel option
Group Environment Manager, Trish Kirkland-Smith said consumer packaging is already about 90 percent recyclable in New Zealand and in Australia however, the last 10 percent was the challenge.
"We know that waste and plastic is a massive issue, globally and here in New Zealand, so it's really important for Fonterra to be playing their part in those big environmental challenges," she said.
She said Fonterra had taken a steer from the community and customers on the issue.
"It is an ambitious goal, but we are up for that and we are aligning with Government's around the world and with customers," said Kirkland-Smith
She said the strategy meant the dairy co-op was taking a complete relook at its packaging.
"We are starting off by looking at everything that we do and figuring out what are our biggest problems and who can we partner with to solve those, instead of looking for the end solution."
Fonterra had also put in some new sustainable packaging guidelines.
"So our packaging technologists are looking at how much packaging do we need, what does it look like and what is it made out of."
She said there were already innovative recycling partnerships in place, including with Future Posts, which recycles milk bottles into fence posts that can last up to 50 years.
"We we have a partnership with Sky City turning our milk bottles into their shampoo and conditioner bottles."
She said Fonterra farmers were also keen to see the goal achieved.
"There isn't really a line anymore about what happens on farm to what's happening in our factories, to what is happening with our products going to consumers."
Fonterra already recycles its biological waste, including turning leftover milk into calf feed or pig feed.