Happy culture, happy planet

Happy culture, happy planet
06 Apr 2020

Happy culture, happy planet

Keeping the planet and its people holistically healthy is what Happy Culture Kombucha is working towards with a recycling-oriented revamp of its PET plastic bottles and product labels.

The Cape Town-based health drink brand took the first steps towards sustainability last year by changing its labels from metallic paper to non-metallic dairy film printed with regular ink. This will ensure the label’s recycling compatibility – in line with PET recycling chain requirements in South Africa, as outlined by PETCO’s Design for Recyclability guidelines.

“We are beginning our journey towards closing the loop on PET and driving recycling and PET awareness in the market,” says Happy Culture co-founder Manon Colmant.

As an associate member of PETCO, Happy Culture has been able to draw on the national PET recycling body’s assistance throughout the process, in partnership with Extrupet, the only bottle-to-bottle recycler in South Africa.

Going forward, Colmant says, all product bottles will contain 10% recycled PET (rPET) content and, if no complications arise, the aim is to increase this to 25% within a year.

“We strive to continuously find new ways to optimise the sustainability of our PET packaging, while ensuring minimal environmental impact associated with Happy Culture packaging and all PET packaging in the country,” she says.

Choosing the most sustainable packaging for the product was initially a tough decision, says Colmant, as it needed to be both accessible to the market from a cost perspective and minimise the brand’s environmental footprint.

“As conscious consumers and planet lovers, and being aware of the global plastic pollution problem, PET was initially not even a consideration. The more we researched however, the more we started to understand that PET (was) … the best suited option available for us to realise the Happy Culture vision.”

As Colmant explains, PET has a low carbon footprint, using significantly less energy across its life cycle than any other beverage packaging alternative.

It is BPA-free, contains no harmful chemicals and is shatter-resistant, therefore safe for the whole family to enjoy. It is also inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, and the most recycled plastic packaging currently in South Africa.

And with new bottle-to-bottle recycling technologies, the rPET can be continuously recycled to make new bottles, thereby closing the loop and creating a sustainable circular economy.

“We aim to play our part though showing our support, leading the way and spreading awareness in increasing the recycling of PET bottles in South Africa,” she says.

For more information, visit: https://www.happyculture.co.za/packaging/