27 October 2021 – Convex New Zealand has helped the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) move away from using single-use plastic exam paper wrappers, while still retaining the security and visibility required for the packaged exams.
A recycling solution organised by Convex has allowed NZQA to make their nation-wide exams more sustainable by diverting approximately two tonnes of plastic waste from landfill each year. Since November 2019, discarded exam paper wrappers have been collected from each exam centre, recycled, and then sent to Convex to be reused in other packaging products, including new exam paper wrappers.
A key consideration in selecting a more sustainable packaging option was the high level of tamper-proof security required for the packaged exams. This also included the packaging having to be clear enough to enable the Exam Centre Managers to undertake their own required checks on the exam packs and easily identify the correct set of personalised exam papers for each candidate.
Using flow wrap made from a combination of virgin and recycled plastic was deemed the best option, and Convex worked with their recycling partner, Astron Sustainability, to set up a workable process for all parties.
NZQA Deputy Chief Executive Assessments, Andrea Gray says, “Finding an eco-friendly packaging solution for our exam paper wrappers was very important to us. It was clear from student feedback that they wanted us to move away from single-use plastics as well. The challenge was to find a solution that provided the security and visibility we needed. Convex recommended recycling as the best available solution, and they organised the whole process for us.”
Convex has been developing sustainable packaging for over 25 years and are one of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers of recyclable, recycled and home compostable packaging. They have been actively investigating sustainable packaging materials and processes since 1996 when they registered their recycling logo and launched their first home compostable bag.
Andrea Gray says “Convex’s assistance in getting this initiative underway was really valuable. Their in-depth understanding of sustainable packaging options allowed them to recommend a solution that met our specifications really well. We were not aware that was an option and are really pleased that Convex not only recommended it, but also took the lead in organising all the logistics with the recycling company and our contracted Print and Distribution provider. We are very happy with the result.”