Elysian Foods' quest for more sustainable packaging featured in Consumer NZ podcast

Last November, when Elysian Foods sent out its 100,000th pot of dip for the year, it came with the realisation that we had in effect contributed 2.2 tonnes of plastic to the New Zealand Inc rubbish tip, with little of it being recycled.

Making Elysian Foods as Eco-friendly as possible had always been a high priority, and I could no longer ignore the elephant in the room – we had to do something about the packaging. The quest was on - to see if we could come up with a more eco-friendly packaging solution for the dips produced in our kitchen in Miramar. We quickly settled on a bamboo-based pottle and lid – it appeared to tick all the boxes.

Given the implications of this decision, I posed the question – is bamboo packaging better for the environment than the existing plastic pots that we use? And if so, by how much?

I quickly realised that there was very little information available about the environmental credentials of the different types of packaging. A lot of the available data appeared to come from industry-sponsored reports and was therefore of dubious value.

I reached out to Caitlin Cherry, who had recently started as Head of Content for Consumer NZ. Caitlin recognised the potential for a wider story about the state of packaging in New Zealand, and brought in Consumer NZ’s podcast manager, Tom Riste-Smith.

Six months later, Tom has finally finished working his way through the hours of audio and gigabytes of data that he collected. The result is a two part podcast that throws some light onto the complex world of packaging consumer goods in New Zealand, as told through Elysian’s quest to answer that question: Is bamboo packaging any better for the environment than plastic?

Want to find out more – then listen to the podcast from Consumer – the first episode went live on Friday 20th May 2022.

Jon Duffy and Tom Riste-Smith from Consumer NZ helping with the demo work  April 2022

A big thank you to everyone who made helped us out on this quest. First and foremost, Tom and John (CEO) @ Consumer NZ – what a great team. A big shout out to Jeff and Kate at Thinkstep – smart cookies. And everyone else, thanks for putting up with all my dumb questions!

Toby Green, Thursday 26 May 2022


You can find some notes on this story on our website here

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