Finalists in the 2011 Unpackit Best Packaging Award

Potatopak (Blenheim)

Plates and bowls for take-away food made from potato starch (a waste stream). Potatopak  containers can be home-composted, or fed to pigs, birds, fish or worms.

Kokako Organic Fairtrade Drinking Chocolate (Auckland)

Box made from recycled cardboard, with cellophane box inside. Labelling says “The bag in here is made from wood pulp and is home compostable. Throw the box in your recycling and the bag in your compost. Too easy.”

Egg Carton from Independent Egg Producers (North Island co-op)

A humble classic which has successfully protected a fragile product for years, made from recycled cardboard pulp and re-used in many places.

Ideal Cup (Wellington)

New Zealand designed re-usable coffee cup which fits under standard coffee machines. All plastic components can be recycled.

Speights Swap-a-crate (Dunedin)

Another classic which deserves to make a come-back. A deposit is paid when the first crate is bought, which ensures empty bottles are returned for refilling over and over.

Wishbone 3-in-1 bike (Wellington)

Combines traditional packaging (cardboard box) with modern attitudes (packaging is printed for kids to play with it, 75% recycled material, cotton bag for extras).

Clearwater Yoghurt (Geraldine)

Go the extra mile by collecting used containers from suppliers and local consumers to make sure they get recycled. State this clearly on the label with their contact details. High quality plastic container for re-use at home, clearly marked for number 5 recycling.

Rethink (Auckland)

Sell reusable organic cotton bags and have worked with supermarkets to incorporate their bags into the check-out system, meaning the weight is automatically deducted.

Finalists in the 2011 Unpackit Worst Packaging Award

Cedenco Prepack Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob wrapped in two layers of non-recyclable plastic.

Sunsweet Individually Wrapped Prunes

Each prune is wrapped individually in a non-recyclable wrapper. The outer packet is a non-recyclable tube, with an unlabelled plastic lid. The outer layer is wrapped in shrink-wrap plastic.

Brother Ink Cartridges

Three ink cartridges each wrapped in a plastic bag and a cardboard box, and all packaged together in a large non-recyclable plastic pack. The hard-to-get-into annoyance factor made this a popular nomination.

Oral B Braun Toothbrush Heads

Similar packaging to above, including the annoyance factor. Individually wrapped toothbrush heads, in PET recyclable plastic which is not marked with NZ standard recycling label. All contained in larger non-recyclable plastic container with cardboard inserts.

Sealord Deli-menu

Six non-recyclable pieces of packaging for a small bowl of tuna. Only one piece of plastic is labelled with a recycling triangle, but it is contaminated by two other materials: a brass ring and a wrapper made from a different grade of plastic.

Re-usable bag in meat-tray

Packaging or art? Prior to being nominated in the Unpackaging Awards, this reusable bag packaged in a meat-tray was displayed on the nominator’s wall as an ironic statement on a “throw-away” culture.

Healtheries Rice Rounds

The rise of the multi-pack is responsible for an upsurge in packaging rubbish which many schools are combating with packaging-free lunch policies. Each Rice Rounds snack is packaged in its own bag with a non-recyclable plastic base.

Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate

Comes in a non-recyclable composite ‘can’ made from cardboard and foil. Plastic lid is labelled and can be recycled. This product used to come in a cardboard box. Consumers don’t have a choice of packaging if they want to buy this brand of drinking chocolate.