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The Unpackit Awards are run by Wanaka Wastebusters,  a community enterprise set up by the Wanaka community in 2000. Wanaka Wastebusters’ work includes recycling, reuse and education for sustainability services.

The Unpackit Awards were launched in 2010 with the over overall goal of raising awareness about the issue of packaging waste in New Zealand.

In 2011 we travelled far and wide on the Unpackit Roadshow of Joy, delivering our message in 37 cities and towns from Bluff to Kaitaia.  8,743 votes decided the winners of the Best Packaging Awards to be PotatoPak and the Worst Packaging Award went to Sunsweet Ones, individually wrapped prunes. Read more about the result from the 2011 Awards.

sophie worst 1

In 2012 we had 250 nominations for the best and worst packaging and 10,013 votes gathered from all over New Zealand.  The winner of the Best Packaging Award was Bin Inn and the Worst Packaging Award went to Foodstuffs for their practice of putting vegetables on polystyrene meat trays and wrapping them in plastic.  Read more about the results of the 2012 awards.

The 2013 Unpackit Awards have received financial support from the Waste Minimisation Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment.  The Ministry for the Environment does not necessarily endorse or support the content of this website.

SBN_Awards13_JudgesComm2In 2013 Wanaka Wastebusters was awarded a Judges Commendation in the NZI Sustainable Business Awards, Communicating Sustainability category for their work on the Unpackit Awards.  In awarding commendation the judges said:

“Wanaka Wastebusters is an inspiring company with a great history and long-term vision. Their Unpackit Awards is a unique initiative which influences the general public’s thinking about packaging, and their own influence on the market.  Making good use of broad communication vehicles, their quirky campaign has achieved impressive results, and has deservedly received national attention and behavioural change by producers in terms of packaging reduction. They demonstrate that a small operator can deliver on a national scale. The Unpackit Awards has had wins with companies coming to them to say that they’re going to change their packaging.  Congratulations, Wanaka Wastebusters.”

Our sister Smart Packaging

screen shot home pageWe have a sister website all about smart packaging with a wealth of information for consumers and businesses.  We think it’s smart to use less packaging. Where packaging is necessary, smart packaging is minimal, and easy to recycle, reuse or compost. It is not dumped in a landfill. Smart packaging adds value to a smart company’s brand and attracts smart consumers.

It contains detailed information about common packaging materials and their end of life scenarios in NZ and also a whole section on the newer area of bioplastics.  There is information about what can be recycled and where all our recycling ends up and a a stack of great reports for people who just can’t get enough information about packaging.

The Team

The Project team is made up of Wanaka Wastebusters staff who all bring their various talents to the table.

Sue Coutts, Project Sponsor
Sue Coutts, Project Sponsor
Sophie Ward, Project Manager
Sophie Ward, Project Manager
Gina Dempster Media & Comms
Gina Dempster
Media & Comms
Simon Williams Photos and Design
Simon Williams
Photos and Design








Contact us

General project enquiries

All media enquiries to Gina Dempster

School education enquiries to Simon Williams

  • 03 443 8606 ext 6
  • 027 201 4484
  • simon@wanakawastebusters.co.nz

Or come and see us at our place

  • Corner Ballantyne and Riverbank Roads, Wanaka


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