Advice service targets packaging waste

Packaging waste figures released this week by the Packaging Council show that a new Smartpackaging Advice service for businesses launched today is timely and needed.

Each New Zealander throws out 125kg of packaging waste and paper every year, and recycles 161kg, according to the figures from 2010*.

“We can do better than that,” said Smartpackaging spokesperson Sophie Ward. “Businesses have a vested interest in safeguarding New Zealand’s clean green reputation, and part of that is tackling the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill.”

Ms Ward said Smartpackaging Advice will help businesses access the information they need to make smart packaging choices.

“Smart packaging means choosing minimal packaging,” she said. “Businesses should be choosing packaging which can easily be reused, composted or recycled at the end of its life.
Smart packaging reduces waste and doesn’t harm the environment or frustrate people.”

Smartpackaging Advice has been set up by the Wanaka Wastebusters team, with funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund, and will be run in conjunction with the Unpackit Packaging Awards.

The Smartpackaging website launched today is designed to be a first port of call for businesses looking to improve their packaging.

Free Smartpackaging workshops will be offered to businesses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wanaka during April and May. Businesses can also contact the team to ask specific questions about packaging.

Ms Ward said the Wanaka Wastebusters team can offer a different perspective on packaging because they deal with packaging at the end of its life every day.

“We know that consumers are frustrated by over-packaging and want packaging which can be recycled or composted. We want to make it easier for businesses to choose smart packaging, by giving them open, transparent information about packaging materials and their end-of-life options.”

Sophie Ward, Unpackit spokesperson
(03) 443 868 x9, 021 0239 5498,

*2010 Packaging waste stats were released on the NZ Packaging Council website on Monday,

About Smartpackaging and the Unpackit Awards
The Unpackit Packaging Awards 2012 and Smartpackaging are run by Wanaka Wastebusters to encourage New Zealanders to choose smart packaging and raise awareness about the issue of packaging. The project has received financial support from the Waste Minimisation Fund, administered by the Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry for the Environment does not necessarily endorse or support the content of this press release.

About Wanaka Wastebusters
Wanaka Wastebusters is a community enterprise based in Wanaka, with a turnover of $1 million last year. Our mission is to increase resource recovery by providing innovative solutions and Education for Sustainability.