Anchor is set to launch New Zealand's first plant-based milk bottle, which is 100 percent kerbside recyclable and aligns with Fonterra's commitment to have all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Anchor Blue 2L in the new plant-based bottle will land on shelves across New Zealand's North Island from mid-October. And while it's still filled with the same fresh New Zealand dairy milk from Fonterra farmers - the bottle is made from sugarcane.
The sugarcane is natural, renewable and sustainably sourced, and is an alternative to bottles made from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels. Also, sugarcane captures CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows, resulting in a bottle that also has a low carbon footprint. The sugarcane is made into plant-based HDPE plastic in Brazil, and the bottle itself is made here in New Zealand.
"We know sustainability is important to Kiwis and we want to offer consumers an option to make a change for good - to purchase a product that comes in more sustainable packaging," said Fonterra Brands New Zealand Managing Director Brett Henshaw.
"This plant-based milk bottle is an important component in Fonterra's wider sustainability strategy. We have also committed to moving towards renewable energy in transport and manufacturing and finding ways to manage and reduce our emissions over the whole supply chain."
Anchor has been part of New Zealand communities for 134 years, and during this time it has innovated with a range of different milks and new packaging that respond to changing consumer needs.
Initially, the new plant-based milk bottle will be available in the North Island, with a plan to expand distribution and product ranging based on consumer response. Anchor will launch with 300,000 Blue 2L bottles per month. Research into the new bottle shows that people are looking for sustainably produced products, and they liked the plant-based bottle concept versus traditional fossil fuel-based plastic alternatives.
Two prominent New Zealanders – Richie McCaw and Stacey Morrison – feel sustainability is increasingly important for them too and have welcomed the move by Anchor.
"I grew up on a farm, and my sister is now a dairy farmer – innovations such as this are important for the environment, as well as our dairy industry," comment Richie McCaw.
"As a family, we always look at ways to reduce our footprint or make small changes that help us live more sustainably, we're not perfect, but we're trying! That mindset is important to me because it's an effort to look after Aotearoa for our kids and future generations," broadcaster Stacey Morrison added.
The Sustainable Business Network has also supported the announcement. Kate Haselhoff, Project and Partnership Manager, the Sustainable Business Network said, "Responsible businesses have an important role to play in addressing sustainability in packaging, so it's encouraging to see a prominent business like Fonterra undertake new trials and innovation in the packaging space as we look to transition to a circular economy."