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ecostore develops innovative plant-based packaging solution

ecostore have developed a new type of plant based plastic bottle, which will eventually replace all of their fossil fuel based plastic packaging.

From September 2014, ecostore has converted all of its proprietary bottles to a plastic made from sugarcane. This is a New Zealand first and represents 98% of ecostore’s bottled product. The new bottles replace the traditional petrochemical-based plastic derived from non-renewable and scarce fossil fuels with sugarcane – a renewable, sustainable and fast growing crop.

ecostore’s new sugarcane-based HDPE (high-density polyethylene) bottles display the same characteristics as their petrochemical plastic cousins and they can also be safely recycled through council recycling systems.

ecostore is calling this packaging the Carbon Capture Pak because as sugarcane grows it captures CO2 from the atmosphere, which is then stored in the plastic. By converting from petrochemical plastic to Carbon Capture plastic, ecostore will reduce the CO2 released by almost four kilograms for each kilogram of plastic produced.

Carbon Capture Paks are only made from sugarcane (ethanol) suppliers certified by Bonsucro, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugarcane production while recognising the need for economic viability.

Based on ecostore’s current production, the company will save 639 tonnes of CO2 each year compared to using petrochemical plastic, equivalent to 123,000 daily commutes.

The processing facilities that make the sugarcane ethanol operate almost exclusively on renewable energy that comes from the sugarcane’s by-products. Any surplus power is sent to the grid.

As technology evolves, ecostore intends to manufacture 100% of its bottled products in sugarcane-based HDPE and will absorb the cost of this change, so that there is no price increase for customers. 

ecostore won the Mega efficiency Innovation category at the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.