“We’ve been fans of your jam forever but super disappointed you are still using plastic.” – Louise
Many of our customers tell us they like our plastic pot for its re-purposing qualities, but we are also aware that it’s not perfect. We purposely chose our polypropylene (#5) pot as unlike most other plastics, it’s food safe for hot filling which allows us to make our traditional Anathoth Farm jams and chutneys without preservative.
Our business has been on a journey to better understand our overall impact on our environment including energy use, natural resources and waste. We have taken the following steps and wish to update you on recent findings;
- After researching the NZ recycling infrastructure we confirm that Polypropylene (PP or #5) is actively being recycled within NZ and made into low grade plastic items. It is also still being shipped off shore to select markets. Most of the larger councils accept #5 plastics in kerbside collection.
- We continue discussions with our NZ plastic pot manufacturer about integrating post consumer polypropylene waste into our plastic pots and lids. After much debate and brainstorming, we regret to advise it is not a viable option as the post consumer #5 plastic available is not deemed food safe. We appreciate this is contrary to what other grocery manufacturers packaged in other plastic types (like PET) have been promoting. Food safety is of paramount concern to us.
- We have debated moving to alternate packaging types. We recognise that while glass has the advantage of being easily recyclable, it is more energy intensive to make and freight than our plastic pots. Our plastic pots are manufactured locally in the South Island and shipped a short distance to us.
- Anathoth Farm upgraded its Polypropylene pot in 2013 and reduced the plastic in each pot by 12%. The current pot is up to 10 times lighter than a glass jar equivalent. It occupies potentially 7-8 times less volume than glass when packed and shipped empty (prior to filling). These two factors combined mean a significant improvement in freight resource and the carbon footprint generated by the transportation of this packaging type.
- Our international connections continue to research technologies and processes to help us better understand the future of sustainable plastic packaging. We take these learnings and then assess whether NZ manufacturing practices and infrastructure can support. Sadly, this is where many barriers are identified.
- We continue to work on taking a holistic view about our impact on our environment. In Geraldine we continue to recycle and review current practices to see whether we can be making better choices. All new projects take sustainability into consideration as we navigate our way towards focussing on doing things better.
More detailed information about local council recycling can be found here.