Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are KiwiGreenPak products made from sustainable raw  materials?

A. Absolutely. All products, made from either the fibre or PLA range are made from renewable materials. All raw materials are harvested and regrow within 12 months. Compare this to the plastic/ foam products derived from petrochemicals -fossil fuels /oil; and paper and cardboard, typically derived from trees which take 15 to 25 years to regrow.

Q. What is a biodegradable product?


A: Biodegradable products are generally made from organic materials such as plant and animal matter and other substances originating from living organisms which break down and blend back to a natural state.

Q. What is PLA?

A.        Using Natureworks IngeoTM, PLA (polylactide) is a biopolymer that offers more disposal options and is more environmentally friendly to manufacture than traditional petroleum-based plastics.

Q. How does PLA perform?

A. Like polyester, IngeoTM biopolymer resists grease and oil, and offers an excellent flavor and odor barrier. It provides heat sealability at temperatures equivalent to polyolefin sealant resins.

Q:  Can I use PLA cups for hot drinks


A: KiwiGreenPak PLA clear cups are for cold drinks only. We are presently investigating the latest iteration of PLA which is heat resistant and can be used for hot drinks. Meantime KiwiGreenPak provide fibre based cups for hot drinks

Q. Can PLA be recycled?

A. Yes, PLA an be recycled more effectively than plastics.

Q. How quickly does PLA compost?

A. PLA will compost in 30-45 days in a commercial composting environment. Unfotunately there are few commercial composting environments in New Zealand. However, PLA will degrade / compost in up to 2 years if simply left exposed to the elements-normal heat, oxygen and moisture. It therefore doesn't pollute our seas and environment forever! Having said that we have a client who composted PLA items in her worm farm. They disappeared within 30 days!

Q. Where does PLA come from?

A. KiwiGreenPak sources its PLA product from Taiwanese manufacturers.They source the PLA (ploylactide) from NatureWorks IngeoTM biopolymer, usually derived from corn starch, a by product of corn grown in USA.

 

Q. What is in the fibre product?

A. The materials used in KiwiGreenPak pulp fibre based products are bamboo, bagasse (sugarcane waste) and reeds. These raw materials are from renewable resources, typically regrown within 12 months.

Q. How quickly does the fibre range bio degrade and does the process harm the environment?

A. KiwiGreenPak pulp products are 100% compostable. They will biodegrade naturally in as little as 45 - 60 days when buried in the ground. They have no harmful effect on the environment as they are completely natural.

Q. Where do the fibre raw materials come from?

A.KiwiGreenPak pulp products are sourced from the Sichuan province of China. Sichuan is the foremost growing area of China with ideal growing conditions for our pulp based products which require high temperatures and plenty of water.

Q.Why not use paper?

A. KiwiGreenPak pulp products are a better alternative to paper products because of the quick growing nature of the raw materials. Paper products are generally sourced from trees, which can stake up to 25 years to mature before being harvested. Some sugarcanes and bamboos can be harvested after 6 months and re-grow from the same roots for many years.

Q. What is the manufacturing process for the fibre range?

A. The raw materials are harvested, crushed and ground in order to form a paste, which is then extruded and dried in to sheets (much like paper). The sheets are delivered to the forming factory where they are loaded in to a large vat filled with water. The water dissolves the sheets back to a liquid form so that it can be carried to the forming machines through a closed loop pipe system. The fibres (floating in the water) are collected on mesh moulds in the forming machines, which are then quick dried at high temperatures to form the final product. The water and any remaining fibres are piped back to the vat for reuse.

Q. Are the manufacturers eco friendly too?

A. KiwiGreenPak uses two manufacturers of pulp-based products. One factory is run entirely on hydroelectric power while the other uses bagasse and other waste raw materials to generate power by burning in furnaces to create steam, which drives turbines to produce power. We have visited both manufacturers personally: they are right among the raw materials, the waste is recycled and we have found excellent working conditions. Locals are now employed and on good terms (as we find through increasing prices / wages).

Q: How long does it take for KiwiGreenPak biodegradable products to decompose?

A: That depends on whether it's a fibre based product or a corn starch based (PLA) product. For Fibre based products, they can decompose in as little 45 days.  PLA (polylactide - sourced from corn starch) products, can take as little as 30 - 40 days in a commercial composting evironment.

Q: What raw material is used in KiwiGreenPak fibre based products?


A: Mostly bamboo together with some Bagasse (sugarcane bi-product) and reeds. Up to 80% bamboo is what gives KiwiGreenPak its rigity and strength and cleaner, white finish

Q:What about the Pandas, don't they live on bamboo?


A: Yes they do. It is estimated there are between 700 and 1000 Pandas in the wild, situated predominently in the province of Sichuan in China. Pandas require about 5 square kilometers in which to live, which equates to approx 1% of the province of Sichuan. Sichuan makes up only around 5% of China's land area of approx 9.5 million sq kilometres. The bamboo regrows in 6-12 months.

Q: Are biodegradable products more expensive than plastic or petrochemical based products?


A: By far the majority of KiwiGreenPak products are priced comparably, and in many cases cheaper to similar products in non enviromentally friendly materials such as foam (EPS) , polypropylene (PP), High Impact polystyrene (HIPS), poly vinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene terephlylate (PET). You'd be surprised. They should probably attract a premium in view of the huge benefit to the environment!

Q: Can I just throw my used KiwiGreenPak packaging back into nature?


A: NO!! Under no circumstances should anyone discard any litter or man made product in to nature. KiwiGreenPak fibre product can however be buried in the ground where they will naturally decompose within 45 days. The KiwiGreenPak PLA will decompose within 30-45 days in a commercial composting environment. Otherwise, PLA could take some time-up to 2 years. However, we have a client who has decomposed PLA within 30 days in her worm farm. KiwiGreenPak products are ideal for disposable food packaging.

Q. How can I be assured that the products perform as you say?

A. All product is supported by test certificates and are availabe on request. The tests have been undertaken by one the world's largest and most respected quality assurers, SGS Group (Societe Generale de Surveillance) and cover such things as "Oil Proof at Raised Temperature"; "Static Loading"; "Pesticide Residue";"Biodegradability"; Acid Resistence";Water Proof at Raised Temperature";  "Coliform"; Moulds and Yeasts".

Q. Do KiwiGreenPak sell direct?

A. No. We are fortunate to have a wide network of independent distributors around New Zealand who subscribe to eco friendly and value add for their customers. You can contact them for the KiwiGreenPak range at the Contact page.