Honeywrap: Proud to be a Certified B Corporation
WRAP, RINSE, REPEAT — that is the kind of simple, no fuss approach to sustainability we love to see, and now thanks to newly Certified B Corporation Honeywrap, living the plastic-free life is easier than ever. For more about Honeywrap we talk with the owner and CEO of Honeywrap — a seventh-generation New Zealand food producer and circular economy enthusiast — Wendy Oliver.
‘Goodbye plastic, hello Honeywrap’. We love it. Tell us a bit more about what you do and why you do it.
Honeywrap is inspired by nature and has a passion for preserving our planet for future generations. We are on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic, one sustainable solution at a time. Our amazing beeswax wraps are made in New Zealand from certified organic cotton and natural ingredients. Each Honeywrap saves on average the equivalent of 75 metres of plastic wrap used over its lifetime. We also provide many other sustainable solutions to help you reduce plastic.
Sustainability is front of mind in everything we do, and we strive to make a positive impact with every decision we make.
Saving the planet from pollution is a team effort, which is why we partner with charities and organisations on environmental and social projects such as Project Jonah, Forest & Bird, Save the Kiwi, and Eat My Lunch to raise funds and awareness for the vital work they do.
Our passion continues to drive us every day, and we are excited to continue to expand on our sustainable range and eliminate plastic products. Small changes collectively make a big difference. Simply WRAP, RINSE & REPEAT!
The philosophy of ‘small changes, big impact’ is shared by many in the B Corp community. Can you tell us more about why you wanted to certify?
The B Corp community holds sustainable brands working towards ambitious and valued goals accountable, and celebrates those doing good in all different areas of business. Our values align with other B Corps, and we are proud to officially be part of the community as we collectively work towards a better future.
As a company committed to embodying the principles of the circular economy, can you tell us some of the areas where you are having the biggest impact, or some of the little changes you’ve made to make a difference?
Our beeswax wraps are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, which is one of our points of difference from other businesses doing similar things. Organic cotton is made without pesticides. Therefore, it is better for the environment, the farmers and eventually our own health, as our skin is not exposed to the harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process of traditional cotton.
We support local New Zealand artists by featuring their artwork to create our beautiful and unique beeswax wrap designs. We also run an annual ‘Design a Wrap’ competition to get the community involved and raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and what steps we can take to eliminate plastic waste.
Our area of biggest impact is massively reducing the use of single-use plastic food wrap. We are proud to say that, to date, we have saved over 40 million metres of plastic wrap from going into our landfills and waterways.
One of the other changes we have made to better our planet is introducing our organic Firestarters, made from the offcuts of our wraps. We are always looking at ways to be more sustainable and what better way to reduce waste than repurposing our offcuts? The wax provides a great long-lasting flame that makes lighting fires easy. It’s natural, organic and zero waste, so we are all winning!
Why is it so critical that we take action on limiting single-use plastic, now?
While COVID has impacted the world in more ways than one, an increase in the use of single-use plastic is one of the many unfortunate side effects that has occurred.
During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in litter with disposable facemasks and rapid tests as well as a decrease in the use of single-use plastic alternatives.
Prior to the pandemic, we saw the community having more of a focus on reducing their impact through the use and investment of sustainable, lasting products. However, as COVID set in, the priorities of many changed as our lives were turned upside down and the focus on reducing the use of single plastic declined.
The fear of the unknown, the uncertainty and the financial stress caused by COVID has led to an increase in plastic pollution and we’ve taken a backward step towards zero waste.
Plastic is a huge issue in the environment worldwide. It is filling our landfills, our waterway, and oceans. You only need to walk down the beach and you can see the plastic waste and the micro-plastic washed up on the sand. The sea animals can get tangled in the plastic and the plastic also breaks down in the ocean to micro-plastics which enter the food chain, we eat the fish and the micro-plastic enters our body. They are now finding microplastics in our blood, and organs. Microplastics have even been found in the placentas of unborn babies. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by weight, which is why it is important to eliminate single-use plastic.
Speaking of change, there is arguably no greater symbol of the need to address climate change than the humble honeybee. What can you tell us about their role and the vital link they play in the ecosystem?
As Albert Einstein said, ‘if bees disappeared off the face of the Earth, [we] would have only four years to live’.
That’s a scary prospect. It is no secret that bees are in rapid decline worldwide. If it continues at this rate, it won’t be long before bees disappear altogether and that would mean losing a vital link in the ecosystem.
One of the best things we can do to help the bees is to make sure there is enough food for them. We can start by planting ‘bee-friendly’ plants; in our gardens, on our farms, in our public gardens and even along our roadsides.
We can also be careful how we use pesticides in our gardens and try to avoid using any chemical sprays. If you need to spray, make sure it is late in the evening after bees have gone to bed!
B Corps want to help transform our economy into one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative, and now you’re one of them. What business practice do you want to see become the norm?
Honeywrap’s brand values are that conservation, communities and commerce should work together to create a sustainable, healthier world. We would like to see all businesses having goals around sustainability and investing in the future of our people and planet. We think businesses should be transparent and have a clear measurement of their contribution to the planet and the impact they make, positive or negative.
Lastly, do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?
Stick with it. It is a long process but it is worth it. The certification is thorough and you will end up learning more about your business and your strengths as well as areas where you may need improving.
Take on any feedback and continue to strive to do better for your business and, in turn, the community and the planet.