Sustainable practices in action
We’re not perfect, but we strive to do better
We recognise that by making products, we will always have an impact on the environment. We are constantly striving to do better in all areas of our company, from ingredient sourcing, to packaging, to the restorative organisations we support.
We’re constantly looking to make more sustainable choices, from considered ingredient sourcing, to conserving resources and reducing waste. We donate to Trees That Count to help restore New Zealand’s native ecosystems and offset carbon emissions locally by regenerating native forests through Carbonz, which incentivises farmers to restore and plant native trees.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution when it comes to packaging within our category. Though cardboard, our tubs contain a food-grade foil lining to ensure our product’s freshness, and this part cannot be recycled until it is separated from the cardboard. Therefore, our tub packaging isn’t accepted by all councils, and is not fully recyclable.
Our cardboard boxes, glass bottles and plastic caps are fully recyclable through kerbside recycling programmes, however these don’t come without their own challenges either.
Native planting carbon offsets
We’re excited to be a launch partner of Carbonz, New Zealand’s first voluntary carbon credit marketplace for traceable native carbon credits. Carbonz connects people and businesses with landowners, providing a new income stream to landholders and high-integrity, carbon offsets that regenerate our native forests.Learn more
Trees that count
By creating paper-based packaging, we recognise the impact we are having on the environment, which is why we have partnered with Trees That Count -- a conservation charity with the vision of helping plant 200 million native trees across New Zealand.
We donate a portion of every Two Islands tub sold to Trees That Count in recognition of our environmental impact.
The path to B Corp Certification
B Corporations are companies that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, taking actions to address society’s most critical challenges.
We are currently completing our B Impact Assessment to help measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders. This is the first step towards B Corp Certification which we hope to receive by 2023.
No waste spared
Marine collagen is considerably more sustainable than bovine or porcine derived collagen, with far less environmental impact.
Wild-caught from the pristine waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, the marine collagen we use is sustainably sourced from Norway, and is a natural by-product of the fishing industry, which would otherwise go to waste.
MSC approved marine collagen
Two Islands marine collagen is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved, meaning it is from a verified sustainable source. MSC certification is an independent and transparent process, where only fisheries that meet the rigorous requirements get certified.Learn more
At Two Islands, we’re committed to doing our part towards a healthier future not only for ourselves, but also our planet – not just today, but every day.
By partnering with TerraCycle we can be confident that all components of our packaging are correctly broken down into their separate elements. These are then repurposed into usable new items such as outdoor furniture and children’s playgrounds, guaranteeing that our products are kept in circulation, instead of contributing to landfill.
TerraCycle is an eco-friendly recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically non-recyclable waste.
How it works
Getting involved is easy. Simply create a free TerraCycle account via their website here.
Collect your used Two Islands packaging at home using any available box. The larger the box and the more you collect, the more efficient the programme!
By collecting more Two Islands packaging before sending your shipment in, we can reduce the environmental impact even further.
When you are ready to send in a shipment, download a shipping label from your TerraCycle account, tape it securely onto your box, and drop it off at your nearby post office.
Your Two Islands packaging will now be repurposed into products such as outdoor furniture and children’s playgrounds, closing the loop and keeping our products in circularity and out of landfill.
New Zealand is considered a clean and green country, and although traditional plastic packaging is widely accepted by nearly all local government recycling schemes, we know that approximately 40% of recyclable plastic, and 58% of packaging, still ends up in a landfill. Even if plastic is recycled, the same piece of plastic can only be recycled roughly 2-3 times before it’s quality decreases to the point where it can no longer be used.
It’s no secret that a lot of products that we think are recyclable and put into our recycling bins, actually end up in a landfill. While the NZ media has waged a war against plastic and is in favour of products that are perceived as more environmentally friendly, e.g compostable packaging, in some cases, this is just adding to the problem, further highlighting that all packaging options have their pros and cons.
Why do we need packagaging?
Packaging’s primary role is to protect the integrity of the product. Two Islands originally started with plastic packaging, but due to customer feedback to be plastic free, we changed our tubs to recycled paper lined with aluminium foil to keep the product fresh and free from moisture. Paper alone is porous and doesn’t perform as well at maintaining the quality of our products. Other measures we took were converting to using mineral-oil-free vegetable based inks, water-based adhesive, and plant-based stickers to seal the lid and using Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, meaning it is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.
Packaging’s primary role is to protect the integrity of the product.
Our packaging journey
In 2022, we've made progress in sourcing and using more sustainable packaging. Our tubs are now produced in NZ along with our jar labels and boxes. While our tubs still require mixed materials of paper and foil to protect the integrity of the product, once disassembled the paper and the metal tops are recyclable through community recycling programmes. We encourage customers to remove the foil lining from the tub and then place the tub in the recycle bin. Our glass jars, labels and boxes are all kerbside recyclable. Our protein sachets are now soft plastic - empty, clean, dry sachets can be dropped off at soft plastic recycling bins at select NZ supermarkets. We're committed to finding the best packaging that protects our products, protects you and protects the environment, and there's always room for improvement.
It's clear that there are pros and cons to all packaging options. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types and why we chose our packaging solutions.
- Packaging is made from plants making it 100% plastic free
- It’s compostable so it avoids going into landfill.
- Home compostable versions are starting to become available making it easier for consumers.
- Home composting isn’t widely practiced (especially in cities) and if consumers do not have a home compost and home compostable packaging ends up in landfill, it could release methane - a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide - in the same way food waste does.
- Commercially compostable packaging only breaks down in commercial facilities under a constant set temperature of 55℃ or higher.
- There are only 12 industrial and three community composting facilities in New Zealand making it hard for consumers to easily use.
- Compostable packaging is often thicker and heavier than plastic equivalents which increases a company's carbon footprint as it uses more energy to transport.
- The packets are single use and not recyclable, so unless used properly by the consumer, any packets that are incorrectly placed in recycling cause contamination and result in large volumes of plastic being dumped to landfill.
- The structures used to enable home compostable packaging to break down in home compost can start to degrade after 6 months compromising the shelf life of products.
- Compostable packaging is around 3 to 4 times more expensive than conventional packaging, a cost which most businesses are not able to absorb and will need to pass on a portion to the end user.
- If sourced properly paper can be made from sustainably farmed forestry.
- Most paper packaging can be recycled kerbside which makes it easy for people to dispose of.
- The energy used to create paper is more than 4x that of plastic.
- The process to recycle paper is extensive as you need to collect it, sort it, wash it, purify, flatten, dry, colour and bleach it before the paper can be packaged and sent out again.
- It takes 91% less energy to recycle a plastic bag than it does a paper bag.
- A plastic bag can carry 2,500x its own weight and is resistant to changes in the weather. Hot, cold, wet and dry temperatures won’t damage plastic as much as it will paper or cardboard.
- The use of plastic packaging can help improve the life cycle of food. Individually packaged products can mean less food is wasted and as a result a reduced carbon footprint for that product. Plastic is still the best way to reduce food wastage.
- Plastic products are often more re-usable than their paper alternatives.
- Plastic is lightweight – meaning less energy to transport.
- Soft plastic can be recycled at select NZ supermarkets.
- Single use bags are used for an average of 12 minutes but can take up to 1000 years to degrade.
- Plastic is made using chemicals produced in the process of making fuel which further contributes to CO2 emissions.
- Often plastics may be degradable but all that means is that smaller bits of plastic are left in the environment.
- Some plastics can be quite difficult to recycle in New Zealand and as a result most end up in landfill.
- Glass has an almost zero rate of chemical interaction meaning it keeps the aroma, flavour, and strength intact.
- It’s nonporous and impermeable, ensuring your product doesn’t spoil.
- For this same reason, glass packaging keeps your food safe from mould.
- Glass is 100% recyclable.
- The same glass bottles can be used for the same products again and again after industrial cleaning.
- Though glass is a strong material, it’s also fragile and hazardous.
- Glass packaging is comparatively heavy compared to other packaging which increases a company's carbon footprint when it comes to shipping.
- Glass packaging is comparatively expensive.
As you can see, it’s challenging to find a balance with choosing the right packaging when it comes to protecting the product as well as offering customers user-friendly options.
Despite the limitations of our recycling systems and infrastructure, we are continually trying to minimise waste across all areas of our company, from ingredient sourcing, to packaging. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution, but we strive to do better, make more sustainable choices and lower our impact.