Reducing Plastics

New Zealand Couriers is committed to reducing the amount of virgin plastics we use and ensuring that what we do use is reusable and recyclable.

Our Plastic Principals

We have 4 principles as part of Freightways’ commitment to making better use of resources, lowering our environmental impact and meeting the expectations of our stakeholders:

  1. Eliminate the plastics we don’t need.
  2. Innovate to ensure the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  3. Circulate the plastic produced by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or by ensuring it is made into new packaging.
  4. Increase the recycled content in our plastic packaging.

We are continuously working hard to deliver on these commitments with a range of projects across the Group that, together, will: reduce fossil-based virgin plastics usage, reduce plastics in landfills and the environment, and reduce emissions relating to plastics.

Increasing Recycled Content

By 2023 we aim to have cut our annual fossil-based virgin plastic usage by more than 70%.

In the past, satchels have been made from fossil-based virgin plastics.

We now use 80%+ New Zealand-sourced recycled content (which would have been previously bound for landfill) in the manufacturing process.

The resulting satchels are still ‘class 4 recyclable’. 80%+ of New Zealand’s recycled content means 80,190 kgs of fossil plastics diverted from landfill.

In recent years we’ve reduced the amount of virgin fossil fuel-based plastics required by 59.4%, and offered customers sustainable packaging alternatives.

We offer our customers various packaging choices, including a Greenpac™ range made from recycled paper to reduce plastic waste.

Supporting the Soft Plastics Scheme

New Zealand Couriers is a member of the Love NZ Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme.
Soft Plastic Recycling

The scheme currently ensures that over 76% of Kiwis have access to soft plastic recycling within 20km of their home.

As members, we financially contribute to collection services from stores, quality control and baling of the soft plastic materials, transport to end processors and the cost of processing into new products (posts, cable covers etc.)


Even though our courier packs are already made from 80% New Zealand-sourced recycled material; it can be pretty hard working out what to do with them when you’re finished with them. That’s where our new Enviro360 recycle bag comes in.

What is Enviro360?

Even though our courier packs are already made from 80% New Zealand-sourced recycled material; it can be pretty hard working out what to do with them when you’re finished with them. That’s where our new Enviro360 recycle bag comes in – fill your Enviro360 with used courier packs, and we’ll take away and deliver it to SaveBOARD to upcycle into brand-new building products.

What can you put into Enviro360?

Your Enviro360 can take any used Class 4 plastic courier packs. No need to take the labels off. We’ll even take competitors’ packs.

Who is SaveBOARD?

SaveBOARD is a company that manufactures high-performing building materials using recycled packaging waste. The company is committed to helping make the circular economy an everyday reality and strives to produce healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly products. Their products make a circular economy an everyday reality, and they are committed to sustainability and social responsibility.

SaveBOARD products are environmentally stable and can be recycled and used repeatedly. So next time you see one of our express packs, you could be looking at the future building product for your next renovation project.

Who is the Enviro360 for?

Developed initially for our government clients, the Enviro360 is designed to help all participating government agencies recycle used courier packs. Now, this is available to all our customers so they can easily act more sustainably.

How do I purchase the Enviro360?

Enviro360 bags can be purchased through your New Zealand Couriers representative/account manager. Stands can be bought from Abstract Design, made and designed in NZ.

Environmental Packaging Solutions

In recent years, we have made good progress towards reducing single-use plastics by offering our customers a wide range of packaging choices, including a Greenpac™ range and updating our internal packaging solutions.

We’ve been working hard to embrace the ‘circular economy’ for our customers and within our networks.

Our packaging solutions:

Greenpac™ range

Our Greenpac™ family has grown to include three environmentally friendly courier packs, E10, DP and the Loop LP. All packs are 100% recyclable and made from 100% recycled paper.
Find out more about our Greenpac range.

Working with Government Agencies

New Zealand Couriers have been working with Government Agencies as part of the Broader Outcomes Initiative to introduce bio-based satchels (satchels manufactured from plant waste).

> Reducing emissions
> Reduce the usage of virgin fossil-based plastics
> Ensure plastics used are recyclable
> Retain the core pack values – strength and protection
> Cost-effective solution
> Minimise any changes to the current workflow
We have created a Green Polyethylene (PE) for Government Agencies that help achieve these objectives. Green PE functions just like plastic with its durability and easy use for labelling and printing.

Additionally, it can be recycled via the Soft Plastics Scheme and SaveBOARD recycling programme. 

These packs have a lower carbon footprint than the standard fossil fuel-based resins, and CO2 is also captured while the sugarcane grows.

Environmentally Better Printers

We’re currently trialling new environmentally friendly printers with AsureQuality. One of the most significant advances is the ability to print without the need for backing paper. This means that less paper is used overall, and there is no need to recycle or dispose of used backing paper.

AsureQuality is the first to trial the printer and will be instrumental in providing feedback on the amount of waste reduction. AsureQuality has the purpose of helping Aotearoa shape a better food world and offers the broadest range of food assurance services in New Zealand, so are well positioned to provide feedback on how a zero-waste printing solution can help businesses reduce their environmental impact.

We’re hopeful that these new printers will contribute to a significant reduction in New Zealand’s shipping-related waste. Read more here.

Making our operational freight bags reusable

We have switched our operational freight bags (used for sorting and transporting smaller items, i.e. Epacks) to reusable products that can be used hundreds of times.

Our freight bags are used to consolidate items for inter-branch movements and protect them from the rigours of the network. Until recently, our freight bags would only achieve about two/three use cycles before they could be no longer used.

We now have 14,000 sustainable freight bags made from 80% recycled plastic content in our networks! (Diverting almost 30 tonnes of plastic a year from landfill). These freight bags can be used hundreds of times and last for years!