As Plastic Free July kicks off, a leading sustainable products business Munch is celebrating a massive plastic-free milestone - 1 million pieces of plastic have been saved from landfill by New Zealanders buying their plastic-free reusable alternatives since the business was established in 2014.
"Hitting this 1 million milestone is a Munch customer community achievement! By choosing our reusable products over the years, together we have saved all that plastic from being used and sent to the landfill," said Anna Bordignon, founder and director of Munch.
The Munch team is now working on doubling that amount, targeting 2 million pieces of plastic to be saved by 2023. They continue to offer new plastic-free alternatives for the kitchen and laundry and are now stocked in every supermarket chain in New Zealand, seeing the demand for affordable reusable products increase in recent years. The number of pieces of plastic saved by customers buying Munch is an estimate, which Bordignon said is based on the number of reusable food wraps, snack bags and other reusable products the business has produced since starting in 2014. Each of those Munch items has replaced 100s and possibly 1000s of pieces of single-use plastic as they are re-used time and again by New Zealand households.
"Since the beginning, we have focused on bringing fun, useful, quality products out which are affordable for everyday families. It's important to be appealing and accessible to most people - to empower them to be more sustainable," said Bordignon.
The Munch team have been advocating for reducing use of plastics in daily life for many years and welcome the Government plans to phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics, which were announced on Sunday.
This Plastic Free July, Munch is hosting an industry panel discussion about the future of plastic and plastic alternatives. The event, 'Plastic! What's next?' on Wednesday 7 July will be held at the Munch showroom and head office in Berhampore. Bordignon will be joined by Lucy Kebbell from Commonsense, Darcy Snell from The Tiny Plastic Factory and Mikaila Ceelen from CoGo. The panel will be discussing what's next for plastic and to sharing the actions their businesses are taking and ways the public can get involved.
Munch have been a strong voice in plastic-free campaigns over several years and are a leader in product stewardship projects in New Zealand. At the 7 July event, Bordignon will discuss her approach to developing more sustainable products and the latest Munch project which is to collect and repurpose silicone in New Zealand. The Silicone Send Back project collects any brand of food grade silicone products no longer being used and is a first project of it’s kind across Australasia to start repurposing post-consumer silicone. There are now several collection points for food grade silicone set up in the community, in retail stores and resource recovery centres.
Alongside education and advocacy, Munch products are now found in all supermarket chains across New Zealand and a growing presence in many stores in Australia too. From the recognisable bright and fun organic cotton prints in their beeswax wraps and snack bags, through to innovative new kitchen and laundry products.
Early this year Munch brought out their new Eco Dish Soap and Eco Laundry Soaps - now stocked in many New World supermarkets. The Munch Dish Soap saves up to 4 plastic bottles of dish liquid. These two solid bar soaps for cleaning were the first locally made plant-based solid soaps in the kitchen and laundry supermarket categories in New Zealand.
Munch considers both the sustainability and social impacts of all parts of it’s business - from the local operations to their Fairtrade international suppliers, they carefully choose biodegradable materials where possible and make as many products as they can here in New Zealand.
"Munch customers are helping the planet and also helping people at the same time. As we grow we are able to bring more work to our Home Outwork team in New Zealand who are the makers of many of our core product lines," added Bordignon.