CircularConnect continues to support businesses on their Circular Economy journey. October saw the completion of Jemco Manufacturing’s Phase 2 project investigating the feasibility of different packaging formats.


Jemco Manufacturing service international product brands with engineering solutions. Using decades of experience, a fully equipped workshop, and a can-do attitude, they bring client ideas to life and design and fabricate solutions for specific challenges.

Mary & Conrad, Jemco Manufacturing’s owners, are aware of the environmental impact of their business single-use plastic waste. Working with Jess Mitchell from Designally, they commenced a ‘Re-Think’ project to better understand how the company can tackle the challenge to minimise, reduce, or replace plastic packaging for freight.

Katy Constance, Plastics New Zealand’s Circular Economy Manager, said that CircularConnect were pleased to support with funding for both Phase 1 and 2 of this work. “We love to see businesses choosing to explore options to minimise their impacts,’ Katy says. “Deciding where to start can be really tricky. Exploring different avenues with experienced consultants helps to un-muddy the water!”

Commencing with Phase 1, ‘Discovery’, the Designally team supported Jemco through an audit of their packaging. This allowed them to identify the types, applications, and volumes of plastic packaging used. From here, they were able to consider opportunities to rethink their material types and packaging systems. With the waste hierarchy in mind, they examined where single-use polymers could be replaced with alternatives including reusable systems, recyclable materials, or compostables. The work also demonstrated where cost savings could be made through these changes. This initial stage of their project highlighted a potential plastic waste saving of 7.6 tonnes.

“Many people think that working towards circularity will cause additional costs for their business,” explains Katy. “But steps like cutting down on single use items and improving efficiencies can result in long term savings. It’s great to see projects highlighting these potential financial wins!”

Through Phase 2, ‘Feasibility Testing’, Designally supported Mary and Conrad in testing final circularity intent and user experience of different packaging options. Four packaging options were explored; wrap reduction; wrap elimination; wrap reduction with return/reuse; and elimination with return/reuse. Through thorough analysis, including consideration of practicality, materials required, and packaging costs, Jess and the team put forward recommendations based on the four options explored. The project also showed plastic waste minimisation for each option.

“Through this work, Jemco gained a clearer picture of what can be done to support plastics circularity in their business,” Katy says. “Tino pai!”


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