Waste: Does it work? And is it easy being green?
We've created a series of four interviews with decent packaging founder, Tony Small. Our second interview focuses on Waste: Does it work? And is it easy being green?
Tony shares our companies views on keeping it green with compostable packaging, how other companies and the public help and more...
Is it all about cups?
No, we produce everything from napkins, to burger clams, and toilet paper. We’re producing products that are more sustainable than their counterparts.
Does the composting system work… in NZ, UK, USA?
While composting is the oldest waste management system in the world, it had been forgotten, and is a young waste management system compared to recycling, which hasn’t worked. Think about your food waste in Auckland: the majority has always gone to landfill, but that’s soon to change with Auckland introducing a food waste collection.
While we don’t have all the answers, we’ve been able to put partnerships together with waste management companies like ‘First Mile’ in the UK, and ‘We Compost’ in New Zealand, to create an offering for our customers. We still have a long way to go, but it’s been amazing to have seen how far it’s come over the last 10 years since we started. And, I’m confident we’ve composted more cups in our short tenure, compared to the ones which would have been recycled.
What will make it better?
Over the next 4 to 5 years, we’re going to see a number of new bioplastics enter the market which will make them even easier to compost. It’s still early days for our industry, with compostable bioplastics only making up about 1% of the market at present. We have a long way to go and the innovation coming will really speed that up.
Is it easy being green?
There are pros and cons like with anything. I think people question what you’re doing more than they would question a company which produces the likes of polystyrene.
Are there any common misconceptions about what you do – the business, the industry? Now’s your chance to set them right.
I think some want things to be fixed or perfect now, but good things take time – especially as we move away from a dependency on oil. We’ve seen huge changes over the last 10 years and I think that will compound with even faster changes over the next 10. It’s an exciting time to be in a sustainable business. I believe we’re just getting started.
How can other companies and the public help?
I think all companies should be focusing on their carbon footprint: working to reduce it, and offset what they can’t. The public should also be mindful of how they’re spending their money. What we buy is a vote for the future we want.