We put a great deal of focus on finding solutions to eliminate waste from our manufacturing mills, distribution centres and offices, as well as helping our consumers and customers find solutions for the disposal of our products’ at the end of the products’ lifecycle.
We have set a bold ambition around extending our zero waste mindset within our manufacturing sites, distribution centres and offices.
We’ve also set ourselves a goal to put in place, where we are able,
We currently have a number of programs in place to address our material post-consumer waste challenges. These initiatives centre on absorbent hygiene products (nappies, incontinence and sanitary products) along with plastic packaging.
We have been proud partners of Envirocomp since it was founded in New Zealand in 2009 as the world’s first service to collect and compost used nappies, incontinence products and sanitary items from households.
Using purpose-built plants in the Canterbury and Urban Wellington areas, reaching 24% of New Zealanders, Envirocomp facilities break down nappies and sanitary waste into a safe, odourless compost, meaning they are diverted from landfill.
Since the first Envirocomp plant was installed in Canterbury in June 2009, the equivalent of over 19.3 million nappies or around 3,185 tonnes of sanitary hygiene products have been processed through the two sites. Each of the plants also have the capacity to quadruple in size to meet demand. Envirocomp is planning to extend their existing coverage so more New Zealanders have access to the composting service.
In 2013, Kimberly-Clark New Zealand and Envirocomp’s voluntary product stewardship scheme to reduce sanitary hygiene waste to landfill was accredited under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 by the Honorary Amy Adams, New Zealand’s Minister for the Environment. As the first consumer goods company to receive accreditation under the Act, we are proud to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to helping fund and promote an alternative to landfill. As part of our commitment to product stewardship we report annually to the Ministry for the Environment on the progress of the scheme.
At Kimberly-Clark, we have been working for a number of years to identify a waste processing option that would enable our Huggies® Nappies, Poise® and Depend® adult care products, and our U by Kotex® feminine hygiene products to be recycled post use.
In 2014 we announced our partnership with an innovative start-up company called Relivit, which is pursuing an Australian solution to recycling disposable nappies, female hygiene and adult incontinence products also known as absorbent hygiene waste.
Relivit is currently working on securing the final piece of funding needed to start building their first facility in NSW, which they hope will service from Newcastle and the Lower Hunter through the Central Coast and Sydney, down to Wollongong and the Southern Illawarra.
Proudly supporting the REDcycle Program
We are a foundation partner of the REDcycle Program, which enables consumers to recycle flexible plastic packaging such as Kleenex® Cottonelle® packaging and Huggies® nappy bag liners by returning them to one of 580 drop off points across six states in Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory.
The REDcycle Program is a voluntary, industry-led initiative where everyone involved in the life cycle of a product – manufacturers, distributors and consumers – choose to share responsibility for the best end-of-life outcome.
Flexible plastic packaging, which was previously sent to landfill and to date cannot be included at home for kerbside collection and recycling, is processed and sent on to local Australian manufacturer and program partner Replas where it is converted into quality recycled-plastic products for schools and communities.
We also constantly look at innovative ways to improve and reduce the packaging of our products in order to lessen our impact on the environment.
We are always looking for creative new ways to increase the amount of recycled content in our flexible plastic packaging, and continue to work on packaging and distribution optimisation initiatives to reduce our packaging weight without compromising on the quality and functionality that our products are renowned for. We continuously optimise the size and configuration of our packs to enable distribution efficiency improvements and minimise transport impacts on the environment.