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E-bike business’s recyclable packaging initiative

Nelson-based e-bike manufacturer and exporter Hybrid Bikes is doing its bit to tackle the ongoing packaging problem within New Zealand’s e-bike and cycling sector.

The e-bike industry has experienced astronomical growth over the past year. But with that growth comes a corresponding mountain of packaging.

Nelson Tasman business Hybrid Bikes, New Zealand’s first climate positive e-bike business has decided to tackle the packaging issue head on, converting from single-use foam packaging to 100 percent recyclable cardboard, and is now challenging other e-bike businesses to do their bit too.

“This is by no means a small issue or a small step for us to take,” says Hybrid Bikes founder and owner Frank Witowski. “E-bike imports have grown from 10,000 in 2016 to an estimated 90,000 last year, according to a recent article in Stuff*, and by my reckoning that means 20 tonnes of unrecyclable waste going straight to landfill. We have to do something about that.”

Frank used the time during COVID lockdown to design new moulds for his packaging and then took the step to commission its production in 100% recyclable cardboard.

“My first container with the new packaging arrives in March. The timing couldn’t be worse in terms of cost for my business as the price of freight has risen from US $2000 to US $ 10,000 per container, but I’m passionate about doing it so I’ve gone ahead anyway. You have to do the right thing, not just put money in your pocket.”

Frank is now keen to see other e-bike businesses following suit. “As an industry we can and should do the right thing. Let’s all do what we can to make the changes we can make.”


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