Zespri plans 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025

The kiwifruit marketer has announced a range of sustainability commitments.
The kiwifruit marketer has announced a range of sustainability commitments. Photo credit: Supplied

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri has announced a plan to become more sustainable, including making all its packaging 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. 

The sustainability commitments were announced today to growers, consumers and suppliers at the New Zealand kiwifruit industry's marquee conference - Momentum 2020: Standing Up and Standing Out.

Zespri also revealed commitments that by 2025, any plastic packaging will be made from at least 30 percent recycled plastic, and that it will reduce its packaging footprint by 25 percent per kg of fruit produced by 2030, building on previous packaging improvements.

Chief innovation and sustainability officer Carol Ward said while kiwifruit is already one of the lowest impact foods produced, the company believes it could do better.

"Today's consumers care about what their food is wrapped in, want to know more about where it comes from and are seeking reassurance that it's been grown in a way that enhances the environment and supports livelihoods," said Ward.

The announcements followed Zespri joining some of the world's biggest brands in 2019 to sign up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and working with its industry partners to create a circular economy for plastics.

Ward said a dedicated work programme focusing on sustainable packaging had been established to build on actions already undertaken by Zespri, including reducing the weight of liners used in cardboard transport packs, trialling fibre-based solutions for pocket-packs, implementing improved recycling options, and eliminating all unnecessary packaging.

Outside of packaging, Zespri's other sustainability commitments include being carbon positive by 2035 and develop an industry-wide climate change adaptation plan by December 2022.

"We're confident these commitments reflect what matters most to our customers and industry partners, and will allow us to deliver better value to our consumers.

"We've been weaving sustainability into our business practices for many years, and we're really proud to have set ambitious targets which give us clear direction of travel and we can work with our industry partners to play our part in bringing positive change."