Sustainable Futures

It's A Wrap On Plactic Packaging

New Zealand companies are helping the world say goodbye to plastic and polystyrene packaging with innovative new solutions created from natural and plant-based materials.

All over the world consumers are shunning plastic and polystyrene packaging, demanding more eco-friendly and renewable alternatives. Innovative New Zealand companies are playing a leading role in this revolution, thanks to New Zealand’s quality biologically-based raw materials and their track record in bio-manufacturing innovation.

Meet three companies who have created a circular economy, and are helping the world move away from plastics, petrochemicals and other non-renewables to sustainable natural and plant-based solutions.

BPN: Eco-packaging for the seafood industry 
New Zealand scientists have developed a way of turning wood waste from pine bark, and proteins from plant fibres into a polystyrene food packaging alternative.

Utilising PLA resin and a patented foaming technology they make ZealaFoam® – a bio-based foam that can be moulded into a range of colours and shapes. ZealaFoam® has a very similar look and feel to polystyrene and similar impact resistance and insulation properties, so offers an amazing eco-alternative to the tonnes of polystyrene used globally for chilled food.

In January 2022, a $1.17 million funding boost helped fast-track the commercial production of ZealaFoam® to be used as a bio-based polystyrene alternative for the New Zealand seafood industry.

Ecoware NZ: Packaging with principles  
With plant-based packaging solutions for takeaway food and drinks, Ecoware’s low carbon, certified compostable and plant-based packaging is empowering the hospitality industry to reduce their environmental impact and work towards a more responsible circular future.

Ecoware’s packaging is made from renewable resources, keeping oil in the ground and waste out of landfills. Founded a decade ago by two young New Zealand entrepreneurs on a mission to change how the world views packaging, the world-leading company was the first to be certified Toitū climate positive, and New Zealand's first carboNZero certified packaging company. The Toitū climate positive certification is the most robust of its kind and recognised internationally in 60 countries.

Now the company has over 500 products available and thousands of businesses across the globe are using Ecoware’s compostable packaging solutions that are also affordable. You’ve probably enjoyed a takeaway coffee in one of their cups!

EarthPac: From potatoes to plates
Can potato chips really help reduce waste? New Zealand company EarthPac has created potato starch packaging made from a by-product from potato chip production. Their food-grade packaging is 100% home compostable and current products include single-use trays for use in hospitals, pest bait stations, and consumer-based home products from cups to cutlery.

With the New Zealand government banning single-use plastic trays, EarthPac is currently raising investment to fund the production of their new supermarket corn and potato starch meat trays. It’s one small step to help the world clean up its waste problem.

Looking for somewhere where big things are happening with small packaging? We know a place.