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Better Burger engineers edible packaging

  • Design
  • April 23, 2018
  • Elly Strang
Better Burger engineers edible packaging

The circular economy is a hot concept these days, so what better way to embrace this concept than to make food packaging edible, too? Better Burger is served up burgers this Sunday (aka Earth Day) in one-off packaging made from wafer paper and edible ink. 

The burger joint says it wants its customers to think about the world’s waste problem, as well as put a challenge out to other companies to do better in their practices.

According to the Ministry of Environment, every year, New Zealanders send around 2.5 million tonnes of waste to landfill, while about 252,000 tonnes of this is plastic waste.

So last Sunday, the chains Mount Eden store wrapped its burgers in wafer paper (potato starch and water) that’s often used in baking and encouraging its customers to eat everything on their plate, rubbish included. Edible ink was also used to illustrate the company’s usual burger branding.  

But Better Burger says this is more than a one-off marketing gimmick, and points to the company’s usual packaging. It is completely compostable and manufactured by Innocent Packaging, a New Zealand company which creates plant-based, compostable packaging out of PLA material, while its paperboard is bleach and chlorine free.

Since October, Better Burger says converting to this environmentally friendly packaging has saved more than 366,000 plastic items from going to the landfill from its five outlets.

General manager Rod Ballenden says the company expects that number to hit the million mark by 2019 – something he is especially proud of, given the fast food’s bad reputation with packaging waste.

 “When we started Better Burger, it felt like all I could see was fast food rubbish dumped on the side of the road, on footpaths and in parks. I decided then and there that we weren’t going to contribute to the waste problem – we could do better,” he says.

“I’d say we are the only fast food chain in all of Australasia with fully plant-based, compostable packaging so none of our front-of-house waste is sitting in landfill for any great period of time.”

Fast food joints are adjusting to changing consumer tastes and promising change, like industry behemoth McDonald’s. It has vowed to have 100 percent of its packaging come from renewable, recycled or certified sources, as well as have recycling available in all its restaurants by 2025.

“Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address,” Francesca Debiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer, said in a statement.

Ballenden says while this is a good step, he wants to see other fast food companies go further than just promising a recyclable range in the near future. Compostable packaging is a realistic goal for many, he says.

“Recycling is not good enough. I challenge them to do more and we have shown that it is possible.”

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The Retail Hotlist: Blackbird Goods is 'Best provincial retailer'

  • News
  • August 15, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: Blackbird Goods is 'Best provincial retailer'

Back in June, we celebrated retail's best and brightest with NZ Retail and The Register's first-ever awards: The Retail Hotlist. We've been sharing the stories behind the winners for a couple of months now. Read on for the last installment in the series: Blackbirds Goods of Napier, who won 'Best provincial retailer.'

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Cocavo expands 4,000 stores further into the US

  • News
  • August 14, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
Cocavo expands 4,000 stores further into the US

Whangarei founded company Cocavo has recently extended into over 4,000 Walmart stores in the US. We spoke to CEO of Cocavo, Chris Nathan, about what it takes to roll out the humble New Zealand product further into international markets.

Read more
 
 

The Retail Hotlist: 'Retail visionary' goes to GoodFor's James Denton

  • News
  • August 14, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: 'Retail visionary' goes to GoodFor's James Denton

We've been sharing the stories behind each winner of our awards programme, The Retail Hotlist. We're nearly at the end of the list - but first, read how James Denton from packageless grocery start-up GoodFor was named 'Retail visionary'.

Read more
 
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Menulog introduces people's choice to online restaurant awards

  • News
  • August 13, 2018
Menulog introduces people's choice to online restaurant awards

Technology has aimed to add convenience to all parts of life, food delivery included. As our nation's love for dining out and ordering in has meant food delivery providers have had to keep up with increasing demand. Menulog, for example, has included a new people’s choice vote in its winter Restaurant Awards.

Read more
 
 

The Retail Hotlist: Cecilia Robinson is 'Most influential in retail'

  • News
  • August 13, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
The Retail Hotlist: Cecilia Robinson is 'Most influential in retail'

The Retail Hotlist is The Register and NZ Retail's awards programme. Following the launch in June, we're now sharing the stories behind our winners. This time, Cecilia Robinson, winner of 'Most influential in retail', talks My Food Bag, future predictions and management.

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Vote and win: Vote for our cover in the People’s Choice awards

  • News
  • August 10, 2018
  • The Register team
Vote and win: Vote for our cover in the People’s Choice awards

The NZ Retail and The Register team is excited to announce that we’re one of 12 finalists to win the Magshop People’s Choice Awards for the best magazine cover of 2018. We need your help to get to the finish line, but your support won’t go unrewarded: there’s a prize pool for voters totalling more than $3,300.

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