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Porirua, can you help us trial compostable packaging?

Chocolate Lovers, over 70 years ago we released our classic Peanut Slab. The recipe remains unchanged to this day, but we know we have to do better with what goes around it – the wrapper. So we have something we’d like you to test!

As part of our journey towards Good Honest Chocolate, we’ve made a commitment to 100% sustainable packaging by 2025. Currently, 76.9% of our packaging materials are recyclable and we’ve been working on ways to close the gap.

In 2020, we released our new Dark Assortments with a 100% recyclable outer pack. Made from paper with no glossy protective coating, this outer is much better for the environment.

This year, we’re trialing a limited run of Peanut Slab compostable wrappers. These are made from eucalyptus trees sourced from renewable forestry and take about twelve weeks to break down in commercial compost. Home compost can take a lot longer depending on the conditions of it. 

You’ll be able to find them in participating stores in Porirua, and a few other stores in the wider Wellington region.

Whittaker's co-Chief Operating Officer, Holly Whittaker, on the compostable packaging trial.

We’re starting with a small trial – with Chocolate Lovers like you ­– to see what works and what doesn’t, and we’ve partnered with local, grassroots company For The Better Good to make sure we’re giving it the best shot we can. Because, although we Whittaker’s are experts in crafting premium world-class chocolate, composting is still pretty new to us!

For The Better Good produce water bottles made from plants and bring good, practical knowledge on how materials can be taken from the earth, and with the right systems in place, returned to it in a way that restores the environment (not at the expense of it). They are the perfect match to help us bring this trial to life, and turn our Peanut Slab wrappers into healthy compost for the Porirua community.

 


How to take part in the trial

Our compostable packaging trial is now underway! Ready to join our underground movement? Follow these steps:

Chocolate Lovers, remember to:

  • Look for the compostable seal: Only Peanut Slab wrappers with the special seal on-pack are compostable. If they don’t have the seal, they are not part of the trial and will not break down in compost.
  • Make sure your wrapper finds the right home: Compostable packaging needs the right environment to break down. So they must go in one of the collection boxes kindly supplied by For The Better Good, or you can compost it at home. They can’t go out in your weekly recycling or in your rubbish bag.

Not in the trial area but still want to take part? Check out our FAQ’s at the bottom of this page to see how we can help.

 

 

Find a participating store

You can buy our limited run of Peanut Slabs with compostable packaging from the following stores, and you can drop the wrapper off there too!  

Let's make waste a resource

For The Better Good challenge attitudes towards waste. Instead of waste as something that has no value, and isn’t used, what if it could become a resource? As part of our compostable trial, we want to see if we can design waste out of packaging. But to achieve that, we need to think carefully about each step in the wrapper’s lifecycle.

  1. Make: We source sustainably produced plant-based materials. We then run them through machines at our Porirua factory and turn them into compostable Peanut Slab wrappers.
  2. Collect: Once our delicious Peanut Slabs are devoured, Chocolate Lovers return wrappers to For The Better Good collection boxes or compost them at home. Wrappers in the collection boxes are taken to For The Better Good’s community composting facility, Edible Earth.
  3. Enrich: For The Better Good add compostable wrappers to active compost. They turn and monitor the compost over time, and when it passes their health check it becomes a resource for the local community to grow food.

If you were to draw this, it looks a little bit like a loop or a circle. So it’s not surprising it’s sometimes called a circular economy, and it’s also a regenerative one. Regenerative means, if something is lost or taken away it is replaced or renewed at some point in the process.

It takes a lot of people working together to close the loop. From businesses that create products, to retailers providing a place to buy and drop off, to composting experts, and our Chocolate Lovers of course! But you’re a pretty dedicated bunch, so we feel lucky to have you board.

Take our 2-minute survey!

Tell us about your experience with our Peanut Slab compostable packaging trial. Your feedback will help us understand what's working, what's not and help shape what we do next.

Take the survey

Join the conversation on Facebook

Our new Facebook group, Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers Club, is your place to ask questions about the packaging trial and share your experience with us and other Chocolate Lovers (we'd love to see your home composting photos!).

We'll also have some exclusive Whittaker's content shared only with this club!

Join our club

FAQs

We’re starting with a limited trial to catch any big problems early. If we want to make long-lasting, sustainable change, we need to make sure the process works before we scale it up. This trial captures feedback from Chocolate Lovers like you, our participating stores and partners, and will help us understand the composting resource we might need in future. We love the idea of rolling this out nationwide and to more products, but we need to make sure we strength test it first. 

Join our Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers Club on Facebook to keep in the loop with what's next!

No, you can’t. Compostable wrappers need the right environment so they can break down, otherwise they can hang about in landfill for years. So please don’t put them in your weekly rubbish bag or bin! They also can’t go out with your recycling as most regional councils do not yet have the facilities in place to process compostable wrappers. We want to make sure our wrappers get to the right home, which is either the For The Better Goods collection bins or your home compost.

You sure can! You can find tips on how to start a compost bin or check the health of your compost on For The Better Good’s Edible Earth website. We recommend these articles: ‘A guide to composting at home’ and ‘Is my compost active?

Also, don’t forget to share your composting photos with us in the Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers Club on Facebook.

Good question. You might need to check if your compost is active, but post in the Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers Club on Facebook with a photo of what you’re seeing and we’ll try and troubleshoot!

The film has FSC and PEFC certification for the forestry of the material. The film is Internationally Certified Home Compostable to OK Compost HOME Standards. It is also certified industrial compostable to BPI compostable standards. Certification for the total wrap would need to pass through an independent accredited test house. We have started this process however it’s relatively new for New Zealand, so there is time and cost involved in this.

Yes! If you are living in New Zealand, we have a limited number of Peanut Slabs with the compostable wrapper that we can send out to Chocolate Lovers. Email: compostable@whittakers.co.nz with your name, address and phone number and we’ll check if we still have some available. But, please make sure you can home compost the wrapper as we don’t want it to end up in landfill!