Sustainable packaging

New Zealand Post understands the importance of packaging and we are committed to providing a sustainable packaging solution for our customers.

100% committed to being 100% recyclable.

At NZ Post we’re committed to being a leader in sustainability. We’re aware of our impact on the world around us and are working hard to find solutions, although it’s not always easy, especially when it comes to packaging.

We know Kiwis want an affordable range of packaging that is 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable and not made from petroleum-based plastic.

To help guide our work and assess the most sustainable options we have developed 11 sustainable packaging principles (PDF - 359KB).

Here's what we're doing...

Boxes

We have a great range of environmentally friendly boxes available for customers in all stores nationwide, made from recycled content and 100% recyclable.

These boxes use Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials and water based inks. All our boxes are 100% recyclable and can be recycled through local kerbside collection or at recycling points. This flyer (PDF - 1.4MB) has more information on the features of our Box range. Visit our online shop to see the full range of boxes available.

Bags - 100% recyclable paper-based pilot

We know Kiwis want a range of affordable non-plastic parcel bags.

After much research and consideration of a range of options, we’ve begun testing a range of 100% recyclable paper-based bags.

From 12 August 2019 we’ve been piloting paper-based jiffy bags and flat paper bags in a small number of stores. Jiffy bags are made of paper and stuffed with recycled paper for padding. We hope to learn more about the way our customers use these products, and how they perform in our network.

Using your own packaging to send within NZ

We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to be kind to the environment, while we continue our work exploring permanent, long-term alternatives to plastic.

We have allowed our customers to use BYO packaging for many years but only on certain sized items. We’ve had thickness and weight restrictions for processing reasons – so we can assign the correct price, so that our posties can deliver them with other mail etc. It’s these sizing rules that we are piloting a change to now.

We realise customers want more sizing flexibility when using their own packaging, so we’re piloting a change to our Parcel Post standard tickets, so that customers can send parcels using their own packaging, based on whether it would fit in the equivalent bag size (rather than the dimensional limits in place today).

The stores that are part of the pilot are Albany, Glenfield, Victoria Street West, Newmarket and Manukau City.

Compostable bags – what we found

We know that compostable bags are a hot topic right now and have considered them carefully. We understand people may choose to use them. However, for us they are not currently the right option.

There are several challenges including:

  1. The majority of commercial composters in NZ will not accept soft compostable material such as bags, severely limiting appropriate disposal options available to end receivers.
  2. Compostable adhesives and labels are not yet commonly used so the end user will need to remove contaminants before home composting
  3. There is a lack of agreed compostable product standards in NZ.
  4. They don’t easily break down in marine environments and if they end up in landfill they can create Methane which is a far more potent gas than carbon dioxide.

We are aware there are many types of compostable bag in the market manufactured from a variety of raw materials. We are monitoring industry developments and will assess these options as we go.

You can find out more information on compostable bags hereOpens in a new window. .

Our current bags

Our current bags (with the exception of bubble bags) are made number 4 plastic. This is recyclable in soft plastic collection schemes such as the Soft Plastics Public Place Collection programmeOpens in a new window. and a limited number of council collections – check with your local council to find out if you can place it in your kerbside collection.

Our commitment is for the long term

We have signed the NZ Packaging declarationOpens in a new window. (PDF - 219KB) and are committed to using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier. We’ll be continuing to assess our long-term packaging solutions and will share progress as we go.