The new packaging option also needed to perform well in their intended purpose - functional performance and cost. We know that customers choose both the plastic courier bags, flat paper bags and padded paper bags for sending items. Therefore, all of these options were included for comparison.
This is just one step of many to come in the right direction. We’re continuing to work with our partners to find the most sustainable solution for all our packaging options and meet our 2025 commitment.
Our next piece of research will be around continuing to develop re-usable packaging and will include pilots and research & development. We’ll be working with our partners on how best to approach this next phase.
We have a range of packaging designed to meet different needs and we’re continuing to work with our suppliers to find the most sustainable solution for all our packaging options to meet our 2025 commitment.
For us they are not currently the right option. There are several challenges including:
- Most commercial composters in NZ will not accept soft compostable material such as bags, severely limiting appropriate disposal options available to end receivers.
- Compostable adhesives and labels are not yet commonly used so the end user will need to remove contaminants before home composting.
- There is a lack of agreed compostable product standards in NZ.
- 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.
In addition to this, the LCA found that they have at 2.5 times the carbon footprint of a virgin plastic bag (existing mailer) and didn’t score as well across other environmental indicators. We are aware there are many types of compostable mailers in the market manufactured from a variety of raw materials. We are monitoring industry developments and will assess these options as we go.