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STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #9

Kate Bezar + Rebecca Percasky, Auckland NZ

There’s such thing as re-inventing the wheel when it comes to sustainability like we’ve learnt from a couple of Kiwi’s who are the creators of “The Real Dirt Bag”. Bec & Kate and their company The Better Packaging Co. are redefining the way our e-commerce industry post, pack and send. They’ve started something that is part of an eco-revolution using limestone quarry cutoffs and biodegradable materials to help e-commerce stores really be enviro-friendly with their packaging. 


Words by Kate Bezar

Images by Rebekah Robinson


STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #9

Kate Bezar + Rebecca Percasky, Auckland NZ

There’s such thing as re-inventing the wheel when it comes to sustainability like we’ve learnt from a couple of Kiwi’s who are the creators of “The Real Dirt Bag”. Bec & Kate and their company The Better Packaging Co. are redefining the way our e-commerce industry post, pack and send. They’ve started something that is part of an eco-revolution using limestone quarry cutoffs and biodegradable materials to help e-commerce stores really be enviro-friendly with their packaging. 


Words by Kate Bezar

Images by Rebekah Robinson


Just to start can you give us an introduction, who you are and where you’re from?

We’re Becs & Kate. We both New Zealanders and live in Auckland, although Kate lives on an island just off the coast and also spent a chunk of her life in Australia.

We just love the concept of The Better Packaging Co., can you tell us how it all started?

We’d both been working on a tech start-up called StarShipIT which integrates eCommerce sellers with the couriers they use to simplify the whole shipping process. As part of that Becs became conscious of how much packaging, particularly single-use plastic was being used to send eCommerce parcels around the world and decided to see if she could find alternatives.

So what are your products made from exactly?

We have two ranges. The ØPACK Range is made from limestone quarry offcuts (waste basically) and a small amount of recycled HDPE resin (which is what your milk bottles are made of). The comPOST Range is made of 100% biodegradable materials, some made from corn and some derived from the stuff that’s taken off when they ‘crack’ oil.

  …Becs became conscious of how much packaging, particularly single-use plastic was being used to send eCommerce parcels around the world and decided to see if she could find alternatives. 

 …Becs became conscious of how much packaging, particularly single-use plastic was being used to send eCommerce parcels around the world and decided to see if she could find alternatives. 
Can you explain for our readers about the Life Cycle impact you promote?

We believe that it’s important to consider how a product is made, what it is made from AND what happens at the end of its life, especially whether or not the materials can be used again. Our ØPACK Range could be recycled indefinitely back into products made from the same material, if the technology existed in this part of the world, as it does in Taiwan. In the mean time, it can be recycled with either paper or plastic … so it’s pretty cool. Our comPOST Range can, you guessed it, be composted – at home! And if it gets blown under a tree somewhere, it will eventually just break down into completely non-toxic elements.

And the SWOP cycle, we’d love to know more on how that works?

The concept is to introduce reusable courier packaging, so packaging that can be used over and over again to send parcels. Of course it has to get collected back to be reused, but we have a plan for that! We’re just finalising the packaging design itself and then will hopefully start testing and trialling in early 2019.

  Our comPOST Range can, you guessed it, be composted – at home! And if it gets blown under a tree somewhere, it will eventually just break down into completely non-toxic elements. 

Our comPOST Range can, you guessed it, be composted – at home! And if it gets blown under a tree somewhere, it will eventually just break down into completely non-toxic elements. 
It feels like retailers are really getting onboard with your concept, which is fantastic for our planet. We’d love to know how you came up with the great branding ideas? Like I’m a Real Dirt Bag.. so fun.

We had an absolute ball coming up with ways to communicate such a new concept as ‘plastic bags that you can put in your home compost’ and humour is a great communicator! I can remember brainstorming ideas around Becs’ kitchen table all afternoon and then Skyping each other that night with even more. Each product in our range has a different ‘saying’ like the ØPACK envelopes are “I’m flat out better” and the gusset bags are “I’m Upstanding”, but “I’m a real dirt bag” is definitely our fave. We were a little nervous that it might be ‘too much’ for some retailers, but the response has been awesome and we’re so pleased that we bit the bullet and went with it. We figured that if it brought smiles to our faces, it would do the same to others … and that can never be a bad thing!

Are you working on any new products?

We’re working on custom packaging projects for some really amazing brands. Literally ‘dream come true’ stuff! And we’re pedalling really fast trying to get home compostable labels and packing tape available.

Learn more about Kate + Becs here.


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COMMON PEOPLE #8
Rachel Potter, Killara NSW

Being raised by her Gran, Rachel has been waste-free cooking for as long as she can remember and teaches us that you really can feed a tribe with only a few cents to your name.