Packing a punch: sustainable packaging is finally here

When was the last time you bought something online, and despaired at all the plastic packaging it came in? We’re all very conscious of our plastic use now, but unfortunately, alternatives have been limited. Come on, Kiwi ingenuity – where are you?

Grocery shopping yesterday, I noticed – again – that while many of us are trying hard to ditch the plastic, many people are still using unsustainable bags, especially for their fresh produce, because there isn’t an alternative. People don’t want to have their apples and avocados bouncing around their trolley – they want something to hold their goods. And if there’s an alternative to plastic bags, they’ll use it.

The Better Packaging Co. has created a line of home compostible resealable (comZIP) bags made from plants – corn starch to be exact, with a human-made binding agent added for flexibility. While you can use these bags again and again, once you have finished with them you simply pop them in your home compost or Bokashi bin and they will simply disappear over several weeks.

The Better Packaging Co. is fast becoming New Zealand’s most trusted source of sustainable packaging. Carrying the most stringent independent certifications, their home compostible packaging, made from corn and non-toxic, compostible resin, will biodegrade – it’s even worm friendly. And so far, it’s estimated they’ve saved on using over 4 million plastic bags.

Better Packaging Co. has its headquarters in New Zealand, with distribution centres in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Asia and the United Kingdom servicing 42 countries.

As eCommerce continues to boom, so does the amount of single use plastic required to individually package each transaction. The Better Packaging Co. grew from the deep concern that founders Rebecca Percasky and Kate Bezar felt for the environment, particularly the vast amount of packaging generated by online shopping.

The Better Packaging Co.’s commitment to operating within a circular economy model means that care is taken at every stage in the product lifecycle to minimise impact. Their company name is a nod to their approach to business – a reminder to keep finding ways to improve, including how their products are made and the options for them at end-of-life. In fact, being responsible is a key value for Rebecca and Kate, who take product stewardship very seriously.

But Rebecca and Kate have only just got started, with an exciting sustainability development launching in the next three months. Their range of products continues to broaden from courier bags to now also include compostable sealable bags, poly bags, magazine flow wrap, carry bags, courier labels and custom branded packaging.

Unlike some biodegradable options, everyone can access these bags, not just the usual multi-national companies who can meet high minimum order
quantities. The range of products continues to broaden from their now infamous ‘Real Dirt Bag’ courier satchels to poly bags, zip lock bags, magazine flow wraps, carry bags, courier labels and custom branded packaging. In the next six months they will also launch an app to enable those without home composts, to find the nearest drop off point so ensure their packaging is composted and looped into the circular economy, ensuring minimal impact.

Armed with chemistry degrees and experience working in other sectors including management consulting, Rebecca and Kate are a dynamic duo with complementary skills and specialised areas of expertise. The business has only been operating since March 2018 but within nine months was profitable and growing at 15% a month. With customers such as Elle McPherson’s wellness brand WelleCo, Maybelline, Clarins, Rip Curl, L’Oreal, Karen Walker, Maggie Marilyn, AllBirds, Ravensdown and Fastway Couriers, you’ll be seeing a lot more of these bags in the future!

Bags are available from, ecostore in Freeman’s Bay and Warehouse Stationery online.