In 2010 Nice Blocks set out to make New Zealand’s first ethical ice block, which included a search for eco-friendly packaging.
“In the early days we jumped right in and used the most eco-friendly solution we could find, which was basically cellophane. Little did we know it was so biodegradable it would break down in the freezer, which was not ideal,” said operations manager Christian Holden.
Over the next decade Nice Blocks learned a lot about how to wrap an ethical ice block and tried everything they could get their hands on. “We tried different laminates of paper, plastic, cellophane but all were compromised in some way which meant they could not be recycled and would always end up in landfill,” said Holden.
After a lot of research and fruitless digging, it looked like Nice Blocks would be stuck without a truly eco-option – until now.
Thanks to a long-time packaging supplier Accolade Packaging, the discovery of a manufacturer willing to supply Nice Blocks a plant based home and industrial compost certified PBS film, means Aotearoa’s favourite ethical ice blocks are now fully sustainable.
“We chose the compostable route for our Nice Blocks because these icy treats are consumed widely throughout our motu and often there’s no easy access to suitable recycling waste streams – but you can build a good compost almost anywhere. Compostable materials are a very small part of the massive challenge in front of us though, when it comes to how we create and deal with waste on this planet.”
And Nice Blocks would love other producers to meet this challenge too, in particular Aotearoa’s largest – and now internationally-owned ice block maker. “Our home and industrial rated compostable wrap works out slightly cheaper than our old BOPP soft plastic – and we can still use our existing equipment. Hey Fruju what’s your excuse?”
To show off their innovative new packaging Nice Blocks have updated their whole range and have even added a few new flavours like refreshing Green Apple with a touch of Elderflower, and fun and fruity Tropical.
Nice Blocks’ new kid friendly Naked Blocks take it a step further, offering ice blocks packed and separated in a special box that remove the need for a wrapper at all.