New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has developed recyclable labels in a bid to cut the amount of waste it sends to landfill.

Working closely with suppliers Walker Datavision (WDV) it has developed a label that can be recycled along with the plastic wrap that goes around pallets of goods.

Fonterra’s national eco-efficiency programme manager, Spring Humpheys, said that the thermal transfer paper  labels used previously could not go through the same recycling process as the plastic film. “If a label did go through it caused a chemical reaction that made the end product unusable,” he said.

“WDV, with whom we have a well-established relationship, carried out a battery of tests in order to develop a label that is both recyclable and works well from a printing perspective, and they have come up with a material that fits our needs perfectly,” he said.

Fonterra has been running its eco-efficiency programme for just over a year. Its successes include a 75% reduction in waste to landfill over twelve months at the company’s Maungaturoto operation, for which it was awarded a Northland Regional Council Slash-Trash award.