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Unpackit Roadshow of Joy comes to Grey Lynn

The Unpackit crew will be at the Grey Lynn Market on Sunday 17th April, encouraging people to have their say in the 2011 Unpackit Packaging Awards. The crew will be performing skits from their travelling roadshow which includes chip-pack juggling, wrapper rapping and bananas on stilts who break free from their packaging.

The 16 finalists in the 2011 people’s choice awards for the best and worst packaging in New Zealand will be on display at the market. People will be able to vote for their pick of the “Best” and “Worst” finalists at the market. Votes can also be made online at www.unpackit.org. More than 4,000 votes have been received since the shortlists were announced on 29th March.

Roadshow organiser Ivy Willmott said the crew was looking to visiting one of the partner communities for the project. We’ve been really lucky with the support we’ve had from the Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away focus group, and it will be great to catch up with them in person.”

Ms Willmott said the Unpackit roadshow had had a great reception at schools and markets.
“We’ve found at the markets that we get a crowd around us, because people are so keen to talk about packaging and to vote in the awards” she said. “That’s what this project is about, getting people talking and thinking about good packaging so they can make good choices.”

Awards organiser Sophie Ward said the 16 finalists had been narrowed down from over 100 nominations. “We were surprised to find that nearly all of the eight “Best” finalists are from small to medium-sized New Zealand businesses, with the exception of Speight’s. “For most of the Best finalists, the packaging is part of the brand they’re creating and they’ve put a lot of thought into it. “Some of the best packaging is made from recycled materials, or from a waste stream – such as Potatopak which is made from starch waste from potato chip manufacturers.” All of the “Best” finalists are fully recyclable and/or home compostable.

In contrast, all of the eight “Worst” finalists are destined to end up in the rubbish bin, because they can’t be recycled or composted. “All of the eight “Worst” finalists use more packaging than they need to, most of them are what I would call excessive,” said Ms Ward. “I don’t know whose bright idea it is to individually wrap Sunsweet’s prunes, but I haven’t met one person on the roadtrip so far who doesn’t think that it is absolutely ridiculous.”

Ms Ward said the eight “Worst” finalists had also failed to label their plastics with an identifying number in a triangle (with the exception of Cadbury Drinking Chocolate who did label their plastic lid). As a result, the plastics couldn’t be properly recycled.

Ms Ward said she encouraged everyone to come down and enjoy the roadshow. “Anyone who can’t make it, can view the finalists and vote by going to the Unpackit website www.unpackit.org.The winners of the awards will be announced May 6th.

The Unpackit Roadshow of Joy will be at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on Sunday 17 April