NEW ZEALAND – Grounded, an Auckland-based sustainable packaging supplier has received an undisclosed investment form Impact Enterprise Fund, New Zealand’s first impact investing fund.

Grounded supplies a range of sustainably sourced packaging, including pouches and wrappers for food products as well as mailer boxes and bags for e-commerce.

Grounded co-founder Ben Grant says that the investment is a significant backing of their mission to shake-up the way New Zealand products are packaged.

Already a number of Grounded products have replaced conventional unrecyclable oil-based films with bio-based, certified home compostable films.

Grant says: “Packaging plays an important role when it comes to branding, transportation and prolonging the shelf life of goods, but the complexity of supply chains makes it hard for businesses to be certain that their packaging is truly sustainable.”

“Our end-to-end platform will make it easy for businesses to shop for and customise sustainable state of the art packaging from around the world.

“Basically, we want to make it easy for businesses to do the right thing when it comes to their packaging.” Grant explains.

The Grounded range of sustainable packaging includes plastic-free products, packaging made from bio-based or recycled materials, and products with non-toxic inks.

The investment comes at a time when New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard recently released a significant research report into waste in the country.

The report ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa’ lays out challenges for the Government to address through mechanisms like product design, product stewardship and the move to a circular economy.

As one of the sustainable packaging suppliers, Grounded is mentioned in the report and encouraged by the recommended direction outlined to reduce plastic waste.

Grounded’s co-founder Josh Kempton noted that “Grounded share the Government’s vision for Aotearoa in 2030, where the majority of food is packaged using either reusable, recyclable or compostable materials, leaving zero waste.”

Impact Enterprise Fund Board Chair Paul Majurey welcomes the innovation Grounded brings to the packaging space as an example of private sector action creating positive outcomes that help address a nationwide problem.

“This kind of innovation lays down the challenge to other businesses who know they need to change. We know New Zealanders care about waste –especially plastic waste –which is so destructive for our natural environment.” Majurey said.

“Grounded is part of a wider step-change we’re seeing, responding to consumers who increasingly expect to be able to make purchases that don’t create problems with waste.

“It’s encouraging to see action in the private sector –New Zealand’s waste problem can’t be solved by government alone” said Majurey.