Can Packaging be recycled?

The recycling situation in New Zealand is rather dispiriting once you start to investigate it.

Here is an excellent overview of some of the challenges > https://www.noted.co.nz/planet/recycling-china-shut-plastics-paper-how-nz-stem-tide/

As a business, we understand the need for food safety verses caring for the planet. Our online orders can be delivered in paper bags or our standard plastic bags.

Our plastic bags are LDPE plastic and are recyclable in New Zealand. We are product supporters of the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme and our bags can be recycled at leading stores around New Zealand (they have soft plastic recycling bins at the front of the store). Soft plastics are taken to Auckland where they are recycled into second life plastics, these include anything from speed bumps, to park benches to fenceposts !!

https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/solutions/soft-plastics

You can read about the wider Government approach to waste management here;

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste

And here is another excellent overview of the wider challenges and issues (sit down with a stiff drink before reading, its depressing)

http://www.recycle.co.nz/problemsize.php

 

Our Bags

As a small business we need to order in big numbers (for us) to get a good price, so we do not need to order very often. Before we re-ordered our latest supply we took the opportunity to talk to our good friends at Ristrom Packaging, who are a locally owned business who produce packaging themselves right here in our home town of Christchurch. There are many, many options for packaging products and distributors in NZ but few of them actually make their products here. Much of the packing used in NZ is made in China, sent here and then repackaged and sold as if it was made in NZ. Like a lot of things. 

The packaging we currently use is 

  1. Hygienic and protects bread for contamination yet is perforated to allow the bread to breathe
  2. Srong enough to withstand travel and life on a shop shelf 
  3. Can go in the soft plastics recyling bins. where they are available
  4. Has not been shipped here from China 
  5. Reasonably priced plus we love that it is a locally owned and staffed business so we have the added bonus of supporting a fellow Kiwi business who have sound employment terms and wages

 

We have been asked why we don't use a compostable option and we have looked at this very carefully. At this stage there is no product which meets our needs plus, and it's a big consideration - anything which has been printed or had a label stuck on to it has likely been treated with some sort of plastic coating to allow the dye/adhesive to stick to it, and therefore is not composable. The compostable bags which are currently available are still pretty fragile and not suitable for commercial food packaging - yet. But we look forward to when they are.

Our Paper Packaging Trial

In July 2018 we partnered with Commonsense Organics to try paper packaging and you can read what happened on our blog, linked here