A Southern-Hemisphere First Silicone Recycling Scheme

Leading an exciting and innovative new silicone recycling scheme is Wellington business Munch Cupboard. The Silicone Send Back is a pilot recycling program that will collect and repurpose post-consumer silicone products in New Zealand and is the first program of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Any food-grade silicone products that are no longer being used can be sent to Munch in Wellington who is the first collection point for the Silicone Send Back. The team at Munch are proud to be leading this new product stewardship project, with support from the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) as part of The Aotearoa Product Stewardship Campaign.

Silicone Send Back is an extension of the product stewardship Munch has been doing for several years already. Munch was founded over 5 years ago to offer families safe, eco-friendly plastic-free products for baby feeding, food storage, lunch boxes and for sustainable kitchens. They consider the environmental impact of their products and where possible aim to make as many of their products in New Zealand.

“The whole product lifecycle is looked at to be sustainable and ethical. It’s about how products are made and how we dispose of them,” said founder of Munch Cupboard, Anna Bordignon.

“We are so excited to lead this silicone recycling pilot for New Zealand. We can avoid silicone going into landfills right now. Currently, there are no silicone recycling options. Even in the USA, the recycling options are limited and are still in early stages.”

The first stage for Silicone Send Back is collecting silicone no longer in use around the country. The second stage will be repurposing it to make silicone products using the recycled silicone right here in NZ.

The public is encouraged to get involved to help launch this recycling project by sending in any food-grade silicone items no longer in use. In return, participants will receive a $10 credit to spend on the Munch website - a thank you for helping launch the project and for helping our environment.

Silicone can be posted in or can be dropped off directly at the Munch Showroom at 471 Adelaide Road, Wellington. Silicone Send Back drop off points will also soon be set up in partnering retail stores.

Food grade silicone is used for anything storing or involving food, so is often found in everyday kitchen items or baby-feeding products.

“The reason we use silicone at Munch is because of its functional properties - its thermal stability and durability. It is non-toxic and ideal for baby and food storage products. It is a great alternative to plastic,” explained Bordignon.

Kiwis are encouraged to look around in their home, the back of the cupboard - it could be an old silicone spatula or a silicone sippy cup lid no longer in use. Send these items in for this new recycling pilot, instead of sending them to landfill.

For over 5 years, Munch and its sister brand nil products, have been empowering Kiwi’s to be more eco-friendly with their wide range of plastic-free and sustainably made products. Their products are always eco-friendly in some way - from being reusable and durable, or organic and biodegradable. Their products are now sold in many mainstream supermarkets and retail stores across New Zealand and Australia.

To get involved in the Silicone Send Back project go to munchcupboard.com and complete the Silicone Send Back form.