Foodstuffs North Island to repurpose textile waste with Upparel

(Source: Supplied)

As part of its commitment to be ‘Here for NZ’, Foodstuffs North Island has teamed up with Upparel to recycle textile waste. 

Foodstuffs North Island is recycling the end-of-life personal protective equipment (PPE) that its 450 distribution centre team wears at Landing Drive in Māngere, Auckland, into sustainable products like home goods and building and construction materials.

The effort is also part of the company’s objective of becoming zero-waste by 2035. Foodstuffs says the partnership has already diverted some 80kg of textiles from waste and prevented nearly 300kg of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our distribution centre is a busy place to work and when our uniforms and PPE need replacing, we want to be doing the right thing,” said Andrew Reynolds, Foodstuffs North Island technical facilities manager. 

Upparel New Zealand director Jeff Vollebregt said the collaboration is a “massive boost” for Aotearoa’s textile waste management project and will have a “genuine impact.”

“Sadly, most old garments don’t need to be thrown out in the first place as they can either be reused or repurposed,” he said. 

Foodstuffs also worked with Kai Commitment, a voluntary agreement among food firms, to launch an initiative last month aimed at reducing food waste in New Zealand. By working with other organisations, Foodstuffs is taking initiatives to lessen its environmental effect in different aspects.

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