There has been plenty of discussion recently about disposable packaging adding to the countries’ landfill, but an innovative kiwi company and a community organisation have been working on turning packaging into the perfect nutrient for a vegetable garden.

The problem with the vast majority of takeaway packaging is that the traditional plastic material is derived from oil, the world’s most scarce and non-renewable resource. So unless someone is prepared to sort and wash recyclable plastics after they are contaminated with food and beverage, their destination after use is the landfill.

Ecoware, a leading New Zealand packaging business identified this issue nearly 10 years ago and decided that there had to be a more sustainable approach to the single use culture we have developed as consumers.

They partnered with US based company, NatureWorks six years ago and started using alternative raw materials in the production of their packaging. Using NatureWork’s Ingeo bioplastic has meant 75 percent less greenhouse gases emissions in production compared to the oil-based PET or PS plastic is replaced.

Essentially, the products used to manufacture the Ecoware food packaging is derived from naturally occurring plant starch.

With a collaboration between Waiheke Resources Trust and Ecoware, the possibility of using packaging made from plants to grow plants has become a reality and is a solution that could be replicated around New Zealand.