Speaking Out On Sustainable Packaging

Published on 21/10/2016 | By HealthPak

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In an industry dominated worldwide by some of the least environmentally aware companies, HealthPak is proud of its record of putting sustainability first when it comes to both products and packaging.

And because that record is based on knowledge and development, we’re also proud to work alongside some of New Zealand’s clean, green pioneers to help spread the message of how we can all work harder to keep our part of the world at the forefront of sustainable business practices.

One of our partner organisations is Forest and Bird which, for 90 years, has spearheaded work in dozens of reserves and sanctuaries around New Zealand and campaigned at both local and government levels to raise awareness and lead the protection of all native species and wild places on land, in lakes and rivers, and throughout our surrounding seas.

One of Forest and Bird’s key aims is to produce awareness-raising publications and guides such as their quarterly magazine – the latest 2016 edition of which features our very own managing director Toby Whyte, who dispels some of the myths around so-called “environmentally friendly” packaging.

As the article is headlined – and Toby explains – creating and using sustainable packaging is “not as simple as it seems” meaning that a company like HealthPak is continually having to work at ensuring its source materials fit the bill and our end-products are capable of being disposed of and recycled properly.

Despite decades-worth of additives and products designed to make packaging natural or sustainable, Toby reckons that even he – with nearly 25 years in the business – questions the best options available and says that some choices simply don’t’ work.

His short, three-point summary of how to assess and product and its packaging’s environmental claims or benefits boil down to:

  • Don’t take claims for granted: Because many ingredients, additives and products are made offshore it can become overly easy for salespeople to simply regurgitate claims made at the source of manufacture and assume they are relevant to our New Zealand conditions and practices.
  • A product’s source and its disposal are as important as the product itself: If a product or packaging has to travel huge distances or if it is manufactured in a country with very poor environmental standards then that can undercut any “sustainable” tag it might carry. Equally, terms like compostable and recyclable rely on how those products are disposed – nothing will compost in a landfill and New Zealand isn’t capable of recycling many materials.
  • One size does not fit all: New Zealanders dispose of packaging in many different ways depending on where they are and what situation they are in – and this means that packaging has to reflect those different situations. For example, some materials degrade faster outdoors in contact with light and oxygen while others degrade best in landfills with no light and no oxygen – your choice of packaging material is therefore determined by the most likely method of disposal.

HealthPak is determined to keep questioning and testing our environmental claims as we continue to develop products and use new materials, but because we believe that our green credentials underpin our success in business, you can trust that when you choose HealthPak products, you are choosing a sustainable option.

For more information on our range of products, contract packaging or programmes such as the Back to Base soap-recycling, call the HealthPak team on +64 9 579 6268, email us at info@healthpak.co.nz or contact us via the website