New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has announced new targets to tackle waste, saying it wants all of its product packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Fonterra said the pledges will build on the work it is already doing with environmental organisations to recycle Anchor milk bottles into fence posts, and turning milk bottles into shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles. 

The world’s largest dairy product exporter said it also means improving in the areas of manufacturing and distribution. “Examples of this include diverting dairy by-products from landfill through the cooperative’s subsidiary NZAgbiz and converting used pallets into woodchips for playgrounds,” it said.

Carolyn Mortland, Fonterra’s director of sustainability, said: “Around 90% of our products sold in New Zealand are already recyclable, which is great progress. But this new packaging target stretches across our global footprint, which means we are taking a good look at finding new ways to make, collect, recycle and reuse packaging, 

“These new targets will require innovative thinking and working together to meet them.

“We believe in putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do. Across the co-op, our people are working hard to reduce waste and make our packaging as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible, while retaining our high food-safety and quality standards.

 “Tackling the waste problem won’t be easy. But we can get there with a collective effort by everyone – from government, local and regional councils, businesses, scientists, community groups and consumers.”