Credit: Original article can be found here
Order a coffee in an edible cup, and you can have your coffee and eat it too.
Mix a gin from a paperboard bottle, and you can raise a toast to the sustainable packaging revolution.
Given the mountains of waste we create every day, it’s encouraging to know there are Kiwi innovators and entrepreneurs coming up with disruptive products to help us all move towards more environmentally- friendly ways of living.
“I have seen a massive shift over the last two-to-three years where brands, consumers, manufacturers, and government agencies have come together to actively solve some of the more challenging aspects of sustainable packaging,” says Michael Basagre, Sustainability manager at Hi-Tech Packaging.
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Even better is when sustainable innovation starts with something fun.
The Twiice cup is made from a leakproof biscuit that will stay crisp while you drink your morning coffee, and a bit longer. After that you can snack on the cup itself.
They’re not just zero waste and B-corp certified, Twiice cups are additive and preservative free – and tasty!
They come in vanilla, chocolate, and an especially popular Easter offering: hot cross bun flavour.
But why edible cups? Surely we have perfectly reusable ones already.
“The best cup to take to the cafe is a mug from home. The problem is most people don’t do that,” says Jamie Cashmore, Twiice co-founder and director.
It’s the same issue with reusable cups, which many of us have at home, and some of us use.
Cashmore says the vast majority of people don’t use products like that.
“People are used to getting a coffee in a single cup with a lid. That’s how they’ve drunk their coffee for years and years, it’s just part and parcel of their daily routine.”
Cashmore says they run a coffee bar on the side and he enjoys seeing people’s reactions.
“They order a flat white, and we say, ‘Do you want a vanilla or a chocolate cup?’ Their whole face goes, what? They’re instantly thinking, wow an edible cup … and then all the questions. How long does it last? What does it taste like?’
“Because it’s so fun, it’s not the first thing you go to, that this a product designed to replace paper and plastic cups.” he says.
But people’s questions can lead into the conversation of why they’re doing it.
Change is coming and so is government regulation.
Jeff Vollebrregt of Apparel and Jordi Beneyto-Ferre(glasses), Senior Manager & Global Materials and Sustainability at Icebreaker will soon be offering the public somewhere they can drop off their old, unwanted clothing for recycling
A recent example is Ireland’s ‘latte levy’ on single-use cups and other food packaging. It’s good timing for Cashmore and company as he and partner Simone Cashmore prepare to move to Britain as the business expands there.
Paperboard booze bottles
Mothers Ruined is a new range of gin created by UK-turned-Wellington scientists Helen Gower and Jo Davy.
Starting at home less than two years ago, their gin range has just been launched as New Zealand’s first drinks brand to pour from a paper bottle.
The Frugal Bottle – think wine cask in a bottle shape – is made from 94% recycled paperboard and a food grade inner pouch. It’s five times lighter than a normal glass bottle, and a carbon footprint up to six times lower.
The paperboard and pouch combination uses 77% less plastic than a plastic bottle, with both components easily separated for recycling.
Having created the gins using mostly using local and organic ingredients, Gower and Davy wanted packaging to match their sustainable ethos.
There are limited options in New Zealand for sourcing recycled glass and a challenge with most traditional spirit bottles is that they’re imported from Europe and are heavy to transport.
“Making and disposing glass bottles requires a lot of fossil fuel powered heat, meaning it wasn’t a viable option for us,” says Davy.
They turned instead to the British firm Frugalpac and its Frugal Bottle – the world’s first commercially available paper bottle for wines and spirits.
The first consignment were shipped from Ipswich, but Davy says the goal is to have a bottle-making machine installed locally. Frugalpac has a machine in Canada and is in talks with alcohol producers here and in Australia.
“We hope once the product is more widely known that’s going to generate more interest,” says Davy. “We’d be happy to see lots of other gins, vodkas and wines on New Zealand shelves in the same style of bottle as Mothers Ruined, because it’s better.”