Our customer care team is happy to answer questions about our packaging and our sustainable packaging journey. Here are some answers to common questions we receive:
1. I love UP&GO™ but can you replace the plastic straw with a paper straw? I’m concerned about how straws are polluting our oceans/environment.
UP&GO’s carton with straw provide the ultimate convenience on-the-run, however we’re actively seeking sustainable solutions. There are many suggestions, including paper straws, bamboo straws, metal straws and all have their positives and negatives. We are working to find a solution that keeps food safe, remains convenient and easy to use.
- Did you know? We’ve recently light-weighted the UP&GO plastic straw, reducing its plastic content by 15%! Learn more about UP&GO packaging…
2. I’m a Weet-Bix™ kid, but I don’t like the plastic bag on the inside. Can’t you use paper, wax paper, a bio-degradable or recyclable bag/liner? I want to reduce the use of plastics in my home.
We hear you - using less plastic is a great goal to have! But the good news is that the liner found in Weet-Bix packs (and our other Sanitarium cereals) is recyclable through the New Zealand Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme. As partners of the scheme, Sanitarium contributes funding to help establish a circular economy for this packaging material.
Please don’t put soft plastics in your kerbside recycling. Instead, drop them off at a soft plastic recycling bin at selected Countdown, The Warehouse, New World, Pak'nSave stores and other locations across New Zealand.
3. Do your cereal boxes contain recycled material?
Our cereal boxes are currently made from ‘virgin’ materials, meaning they don't contain recycled paperboard. This is due to our stringent food safety standards, as we metal detect every single pack we make. Recycled cardboard can have microscopic fragments of metal, which can trigger our very sensitive metal detectors. These packs then need to be discarded, which creates a food waste issue, even if the food inside the pack is perfectly safe to consume. We’re actively looking at solutions to this problem.
However, much of our packaging materials used to protect our products during transport contain significant recycled content, and our cartons are fully recyclable.
4. I’m a big fan of So Good™ however I’m struggling with the idea that the long-life cartons are not recyclable. When will you use recyclable cartons?
Our So Good long-life cartons are in fact recyclable. Unfortunately, not all councils currently accept long-life cartons for recycling as facilities vary in different regions. We’re reviewing what information we can have on our packs and website to help give you clearer guidance. Click here to check if your council provides recycling of the carton.
You might be interested to learn that long-life cartons, like we use for So Good and UP&GO, have the lowest carbon footprint of the most commonly used packaging in New Zealand? Tetra-Pak™ is lighter and more space efficient than other packaging formats, plus it’s made from 65% paper from wood fibre, a renewable resource. Learn more about long-life cartons...
Another thing to keep in mind is that long-life products can have lower environmental footprints as they don’t need to be refrigerated until they’re opened. Plus the carton helps reduces food waste too by protecting and preserving the quality of the product – including it’s taste, it’s colour and even the nutrition it offers.
5. Are So Good™ and UP&GO™ plastic bottles recyclable?
Yes, they are recyclable and accepted by kerbside recycling systems that accept plastic bottles. Our So Good goes into opaque PET plastic bottles and these are recyclable in mixed stream recycling. You can remove the soft plastic "scrunchable" sleeve on the bottle and recycle it through the NZ Soft Plastics Recycling Program.
6. Do your Tetra Paks cartons contain an aluminium inner lining? Can I recycle the pack if it does?
Yes, our long-life cartons contain an aluminium inner liner. The barrier helps preserve the nutrition and taste of the product without requiring refrigeration. It is recyclable where councils accept long-life (Tetra-Pak) carton packaging. Check if your council offers recycling of the cartons...
Another option is to purchase So Good in a recyclable plastic bottle available in the chilled dairy section of major supermarkets.
7. You use rPET plastic for Marmite™. Wouldn’t a glass jar improve the sustainability and recyclability of the jar?
Marmite and Sanitarium Peanut Butter are packed into PET (plastic) jars which are 100% recyclable (but remember, they must be cleaned for recycling). Better still, Marmite jars are now made from 100% rPET (recycled plastic) and we’ve removed some plastic content from the lid, which together saves about 40 tonnes of virgin plastic from the supply chain per year.
Clear PET is the most environmentally-friendly of all the plastics as it can be recycled again and again. The plastic lids are recyclable too, but check with your local council whether they should be left on or off the jar for recycling.
Our main concern with glass is that it increases the risk of breakage and food contamination, which are food safety issues. Glass breakage throughout the supply chain also increases food waste which is also a significant environmental problem in New Zealand. Plus glass jars are more resource intensive to make than PET and they’re heavier which results in increased transport emissions. So it’s our assessment that PET is best!