Packaging

Our 1 litre Barista and Everyday M!lks come in an aseptic liquid paper board (ALPB) container - aka ‘tetra pak’. Our supplier of this packaging is Elopak.

When finished, if cleaned, dried, and empty the carton can be placed in kerbside recycling in Auckland only. Please always check what packaging is accepted in your local recycling collection. Getting it wrong makes the lives of everyone involved in recycling a whole lot harder!

Elopak use FSC certified wood pulp and 100% renewable energy to manufacturer them. They also offset all other emission related to their production and the cartons we purchase are certified carbon-neutral.

The plastic used for the lids (HDPE) and the plastic lining on the inside and outside of the carton (LDPE) is made from plant material not fossil-fuels. The forest based feedstock, tall oil, is a residue from pulp and paper production and is certified according to ISCC PLUS.

Factors to consider when choosing packaging

Choosing packaging has been one of the toughest decision we have had to make as a business to date. We have to consider all of the following factors:

1. What the packaging is made of, where those materials come from, and their respective impacts e.g. the greenhouse gas emissions, cutting down trees, water usage etc.

2. The functionality of the packaging e.g will it keep our product safe and delicious for a long time, and is it easy for our customer to use.

3. What can our customers do with it when it is empty e.g can they put it in their local recycling system?

4. What is the impact on our supply chain e.g is the packaging heavy and therefore requires more energy to transport and generates more emissions, does it pack well so that it fits into delivery vehicles, does it need to be refrigerated the whole time (more energy and emissions)?

Why we choose our packaging

We chose to go with what's known in the industry as aseptic liquid paperboard packaging (ALPB). It’s more commonly known as ‘tetrapak’. 

ALPB is made of a blend of three materials. Typically 75% is paper pulp (provides strength and shape), 21% is plastic (prevents leakage and ensures sterile conditions), and 4% is aluminum (protects from lights and oxygen). See Elopak for more info.  

ALPB is light and square in shape. These two factors significantly lower transport emissions compared to other packaging options. A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) undertaken by thinkstep-anz found “Cartons have the lowest carbon footprint of all packaging systems we considered.” Read more here.  

 ALPB is virtually unbreakable, has very high food safety qualities, and because of the aluminium component (which keeps out light and oxygen) we do not need to store the product in the fridge until it has been opened. Fridges require energy and powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) to run. Learn more here. 

While there are lots of positives, the biggest stress for us using ALPB is the lack of recycling options. At time of writing Auckland and Invercargill are the only regions in NZ that accepts ALPB in kerbside recycling. This is then recycled into newsprint, writing paper, tissue, corrugated cardboard, egg cartons and fruit trays. This is done in Asia. Read more here. 

What is accepted by kerbside recycling collections is different from region to region so please check your local councils website. 

Our work with saveBOARD

We are a business committed to eliminating all waste and pollution and help New Zealand achieve a circular economy. We started this business afterall to change the status quo. In line with this commitment we have been working hard to solve this lack of recycling issue. SaveBoard is a very new addition to New Zealand’s recycling infrastructure. They take empty ALPB and other fibre and plastic packaging e.g. plastic lined coffee cups and turn them into a building material, which can go back through the same recycling system at their end-of-life. 

The challenge now is to capture the empty ALPB cartons and get them to saveBOARD. Our ultimate goal is for all kerbside recycling collections to accept the cartons. Makes sense right? There is a nationwide collection system already in place, let’s not reinvent the wheel! But Councils take time to make decisions and roll out changes. So while we wait we are trialling a takeback scheme with about a dozen of our cafe customers in the Waikato region. (If you're interested in being a part of this scheme please drop us a line).  

Other packaging 

The packaging we source doesn’t stop at the cartons our milk comes in. We also use cardboard boxes to package and deliver our case of 6 cartons. These boxes have FSC Mix certification as ‘packaging from responsible sources’.

To provide protection and ease of transport for orders of 2 cases (12 x cartons) and 3 cases (18 x cartons), we use a cardboard box supplied by Production Partners that is PEFC certified as being made of 100% and 78% recycled material respectively. 

Cardboard boxes are accepted by all kerbside recycling collections in Aotearoa. 

For large orders of our cases which are transported on ships and trucks we are reliant on the packaging systems of our supply partners who currently use plastic wrap and reusable wooden pallets. It is our desire to switch to a reusable pallet wrap alternative.