At the core of our business is the desire to do more, to be better, & to strive for change. We think that it’s our responsibility to make a difference & to lead by example.
That’s why we’ve created the Sustainability Initiatives page to document, highlight & promote the real doers of the environmentally sustainable revolution. Here, you can read about how we carbon offset our deliveries, our contribution towards cleaning up the oceans, as well as our recent warehouse solar energy installation.
This is only just the beginning for us and there are many exciting partnerships planned in the future, so stay tuned!
The Ocean Cleanup®
We live in a changed climate. The science is undeniable. Our beautiful environment & delicate ecosystems are under threat. In order to minimise the damage we do, we must find ways of adapting to become more sustainable. We must rethink how we approach our relationship to the natural world, and its climate. It’s up to us; the individuals, the small & large businesses, the corporations, the governments of the world. We all have a role to play.
The Australian business community is stepping up to the challenge; with a combined focus to maintain the natural environment. Whether it’s by incorporating regenerative practices into our business models, shifting to locally minded markets, eliminating unnecessary waste, or contributing to climate initiatives, these small actions can have big effects.
Tree planting is one of those regenerative practices.
Thanks to Greenfleet®, we’re able to send 2000 parcels per month which are completely carbon neutral!
This is no small feat, and we commend Greenfleet® for the valuable work they do to achieve this.
By sponsoring Greenfleet’s tree planting program, Green Pack is able to deliver up to 2000 parcels every month, carbon neutrally. There are countless benefits to tree planting: Tree’s are one of nature’s best carbon sinks, as they capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. This carbon is then transformed into sugar through the natural process of photosynthesis. Trees and forests also prevent erosion, as deep roots provide support and structure to the soil. They’re also a vital part of many symbiotic and biodiverse ecosystems.
Trees also have long life cycles. Greenfleet® ensures that all trees that are planted, are legally protected for 100 years. This ensures they can extract as much carbon as possible & provides long term action on climate change. There is an ancient Greek proverb which says ‘society flourishes when we plant trees under the shade of which we never expect to sit’.
Carbon Neutral Parcels Delivered
Greenfleet has been restoring native forests for 25 years. They’ve planted over 10 million trees and created more than 500 forests. That’s quite an astounding effort, and it wouldn’t have been possible without community support. Greenfleet is unique in its approach to native reforestation. They plant multi-species, native forests across Australia and New Zealand. Across their forests, they have planted over 400 different plant species which have been selected because they are indigenous to the local area. Greenfleet plants with purpose. Their forests are suited to the local environment, improve soil and water quality, and provide critical habitat for native wildlife, including many endangered species. In Australia, biodiversity is threatened by climate change, deforestation, fragmentation of habitat, invasive species, changes to water flow and aquatic environments, and unsustainable use of natural resources.
Thanks to Greenfleet, we are able to send roughly 1000 parcels per month which are completely carbon neutral! This is no small feat, and we commend Greenfleet for the valuable work they do to achieve this. Carbon offsetting can come in many forms including the purchase of carbon credits. Green Pack has decided to opt for the regenerative approach which centres around tree planting. This not only helps extract carbon from the atmosphere, but the reforestation also provides much needed new habitats for native wildlife. We see this as a great opportunity to do good, and to have a positive effect on two inextricably linked issues.
The beating heart of Greenfleet® are the devoted volunteers, tree planters & supporters. These are people from the local communities where reforestation is taking place. This dedication is self evident in the 10,000 hectares of native forest restored across Australia & New Zealand. Greenfleet® works closely with Traditional Owners, custodians, as well as local government. Not only does the natural environment benefit from tree planting, but also the local communities which reside near these projects. They help bring people together with a shared sense of purpose, and a desire to do good. If you’d be interested in volunteering, donating, or carbon offsetting your business, visit the Greenfleet® website today!
This eco initiative doesn’t just forcus on carbon capture though. They’re also on a mission to solve issues relating to wildlife. In the case of the Low Glow Project in QLD, its to protect newly hatched sea turtles. Artificial light from homes and street lights can disorientate baby sea turtles, often resulting in them not being able to find their way into the ocean after hatching. The Low Glow Project aims to create a “Green Curtain” of native trees along shorelines to block artifical light, restoring the beaches to their previous state. Not only is this crucial to maintaining sea turtle populations, but these turtles also bring in roughly 30,000 tourists to Bundaberg each year, resulting in substancial economic benefits for the local communities.
Sometimes the issues we face surrounding waste can feel depressing to say the least. Sometimes it feels like we’ve gone too far already & it’s easy to lose sight of any progress we’ve made. But—& there is a big but—sometimes you hear of an organisation making a genuine difference. Whose plans are so ambitious, so focused, and whose outcomes are so material that you can’t help but be inspired.
“The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this objective, we have to work on a combination of closing the sources of plastic pollution and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean and doesn’t go away by itself. This goal means we plan to put ourselves out of business – once we have completed this project, our work is done.”
“Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, of which the majority spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels to ocean garbage patches, where it gets caught in a vortex of circulating currents alongside plastic from other sources (e.g. offshore fishing activities). If no action is taken, plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health, and economies.”
– The Ocean Cleanup
of trash removed from Pacific Garbage patch by the Ocean Cleanup®
Since it was founded in 2013, the Ocean Cleanup® has:
- Removed a staggering 1.3million kg of plastic waste from the environment
- Grew from a small group of volunteers to over 100 employees in 5 years
- Launched 8 river Interceptors in 5 countries, with many more in the pipeline
- Published over 20 peer-reviewed articles to enhance the global plastic pollution knowledge
- Confirmed proof-of-technology for our ocean cleanup technology in October 2021
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing though. It’s taken countless hours of research, prototyping & testing to get to where we are today. The many failed attempts have brought with them invaluable information about how to improve and adapt new strategies. New knowledge about what types of waste exist in which bodies of water i.e. oceans vs rivers. New knowledge about how to best collect this garbage with the least collateral impact on the environment, such as fish and other ocean and river life. New knowledge about how to best manage recycling streams to create a sustainable business model. Without failure these lessons couldn’t have been learned, and without failure, a venture like this wouldn’t be where it is today. The fear of failure might dissuade people from trying, but not The Ocean Cleanup®, who have used failure as a means of progress.
It’s easy to see how an endeavour like this would have seemed almost impossible to start. Yet, it’s even easier to see why it’s grown to this size, and why it has no signs of slowing down.
By supporting the Ocean Cleanup®, Green Pack is able to help remove plastic waste from our oceans & rivers!
Thanks to community donations, organisations like this can continue opertating.
Since it’s early inception, The Ocean Cleanup® has gained massive support from global & local communities alike. It’s a cause that has brough people from all backgrounds together. With a shared goal of undoing years of carelessness.
It’s grown into an organization which inspires people everyday to do better, and we thank the team for all of their hard work!
Our waste management systems aren’t perfect. Far from it in fact. In Australia, our recycling industry is only in its infancy. This means that for the past few decades our recycling has been sent overseas to be processed. An unfortunate side effect of poor waste management is that garbage finds its way into our waterways, then to the oceans. What might seem like an insignificant problem—seeing a wrapper or coffee cup on the sidewalk—compounds into tonnes upon tonnes of waste being washed out to sea.
By now we’re all painfully aware of what micro plastics are. These tiny pieces of plastic end up being mistaken for food, or get unknowingly ingested by sea life. This works its way up the food chain, which—if left unchecked—could result in the eventual collapse of entire ecosystems. Within ecosystems are what is known as ‘keystone species’. These species are pivotal to the survival of all other species, and occupy a crucial spot in the food chain. The need to protect these species from extinction is self-evident, and it’s clear the danger plastic poses to these threatened creatures. Therefore the work that The Ocean Cleanup® does is incredibly important and directly benefits every single one of us.
System 002 is the Ocean Cleanups’s solution to floating waste. It essentially works like a giant comb. It consists of two powerful tugboats which pull a large net at a constant speed through high density areas. It extends 3m below the surface as the vast majority of floating waste sits in this depth range. The net is designed to minimise impact on sealife, and further advancements are being made in this area. System 002 stays at sea for extended periods of time, only returning when their cargo is full. It then returns to port where the waste is transferred to be recycled. At a glance, this is an incredibly simple yet ingenious solution.
System 03 has dropped the extra zero. This is because early estimates said that 100 systems were needed to clean the GPGP (Great Pacific Garbage Patch) by 2040. However, with new research and development into a much larger System 03, estimates say that only 10 will be needed. This dramatically reduces the projected costs of this endeavour, and gives the project room to scale past their current goals. System 03 is the blueprint for a scale up to a full fleet. The first System 03 is set to be launched in Q3-Q4 of 2022. The older sister, System 002—or “Jenny” as she’s affectionately known—has been harvesting for roughly one year. In that time she and her crew have collected up to 124,797kgs of plastic waste from the GPGP. This staggering amount was only made possible because of community and institutional support.
Despite what their name might suggest, The Ocean Cleanup® doesn’t just focus on oceans. To fix an issue like ocean pollution you must look at the root causes. You have to ask yourself the question, where did all this trash come from? The answer is rivers. In fact, up to 80% of all river plastic stems from just 1000 of the world’s rivers. Rivers are the main source of ocean garbage as they can carry floating waste for miles on end.
A functional solution to poluted rivers are the ‘Interceptors’. These barges are strategically deployed in rivers where they funnel and collect floating waste. The ‘Interceptor’ technology has been deployed in a large number of rivers, with a focus to remove as much waste from them before it travels to the ocean. If you’re interested in learning more about how river pollution affects our oceans, and what is being done about it, visit The Ocean Cleanup® website today.
By far the largest contributing factor of our daily business emissions is electricity use. Without electricity we can’t keep our website running, and that means we can’t process your orders, respond to emails or calls or even update our product lists. It’s obviously a vital part of our business as it is for many others. That’s why we decided to look at how we could best reduce the associated carbon emissions.
As proud Byron Shire locals, we’re lucky enough to enjoy plenty of sun throughout the year. Green Pack has therefore invested into Solar Panels which provide power for the entire business around the clock, five days a week.
Since our warehouses and offices only operate during the day, the energy harvested by our solar panels is immediately put to good use, and doesn’t require battery storage. In some cases we produce so much of our own electricity that it gets put back into the grid.
Here’s a small breakdown of some recent data collected by our solar sensors:
There are many benefits to solar energy of course. Non-existent power bills mean we can reinvest more into sustainable eco-initiatives such as Greenfleet® and the Ocean Cleanup®. It means we can self sufficiently run our business with clean emission free energy. It also means our emissions from electricity are dramatically reduced, which has an overall net positive effect on the world’s atmosphere.