For the Better Good
We first met Jayden Klinac and the For The Better Good crew back in February 2019 when we opened our Westmoreland eatery and roastery. It was hot outside - super hot, and we needed to find an environmentally friendly way of keeping our guests well hydrated at the opening bash. We knew about Jayden and his Better Bottles, so in true kiwi style - we jumped on the phone and had a chat. We connected, became friends - and we’re happy to report that guest hydration at the party hit record levels. Total dream.
From nature, to nature. Jayden and For The Better Good are not selling bottled water, but are providing a basis for change, proving the viability of alternative production methods and giving organisations the opportunity to work more harmoniously with nature.
This young entrepreneur is the Founder of For The Better Good, a social enterprise tackling the concerning consumption of single-use plastic, one bottle at a time. Jayden started research and development over three years ago with the goal of creating a material that could rival traditional oil based plastics, with ones made from renewable alternatives such as plants.
Jayden and his team solved this initial problem by finding a starch-based material, but had the realisation that their solution could not just stop there. There was a need to take this material and design something that challenged everything they knew, a product that could shift thinking towards an ideal where nothing needed to become waste – so that’s what they did. With one million plastic bottles being sold globally every minute, they recognised that a reusable and regenerative alternative to the plastic bottle had the potential to significantly reduce the amount of indestructible plastics entering landfills and oceans – cue. The Better Bottle.
Jayden says that the entire design of The Better Bottle encourages a waste-free, circular system that ultimately has a positive environmental impact. The premise was simple: To design and create a water bottle that’s not only safe to reuse an infinite number of times, but that can also break down without harming the environment. The bottles and labels are made from plants with 78% less carbon emissions in production than alternatives. They are non-toxic and reusable and are made from naturally-occurring starch – making them certified compostable at the end of their lives.
To deliver on their promise of having a completely reusable and regenerative product, The Better Bottle has been followed up with the development of a closed-loop collection system where their team take responsibility for everything they produce and sell. They have established a nationwide Better Collection Network in New Zealand, a self-created circular economy with water refill stations and Better Collection Boxes all over the country that you can locate and use via their website.
The Better Collection Network keeps The Better Bottles out of traditional waste streams and ensures they are disposed of correctly. Bottle Collections are booked online, the For The Better Good team collect the empties and deliver them to their network of private composting sites in Queenstown, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The bottles breakdown in 5-27 days, wood chips and food waste are added and the end product is a nutrient-rich, carbon-dense compost which becomes fuel for future growth, sequesters carbon and rebuilds soil.
For The Better Good has developed a product and a process of collection and composting that not only diverts waste from landfill and creates precious food resources for communities, but returns carbon dioxide to our soil and kicks off Nature’s natural carbon vacuum – photosynthesis.
For The Better The Good are re-inventing single use plastic. Awesome kiwi mahi and innovation delivering world leading results. High five!
Getting to know Jayden in three quick questions:
What does the future of FTBG look like?
It is hard to see what the future looks like when we are in a state of creating change. We need to be prepared to pivot with new learning as we go. The future is more a state of mind in which we will see the idea of ‘waste’ completely eradicated out of the system, and the availability of products that contribute to our environment in a regenerative manner more easily accessible. We need to help humanity live more harmoniously with nature.
Did you have a lightbulb moment to start For The Better Good, or was it a gradual goal?
The original idea of providing essential products and packaging that were oil-free was the lightbulb moment. It came from the frustration of knowing that it was possible. However, the system and the holistic approach that For The Better Good offers was gradually developed over time, and as we came across holes in the current system.
What is your perception around the state of plastics?
The problem does not lie solely with ‘plastic’. If fully realised, plastic can be seen and used as a useful product in some areas of packaging. The problem is disconnection. Disconnection between the creators of products, users, collection operators and processing companies. Everyone is currently passing the baton, and financial gain is the main driver – not the environment. We need to focus attention on the disconnection that exists between the users knowledge and their understanding of where products come from and where they end up. If we were more connected to these products and their life-cycles, it would allow us to better understand how they should be used, and what to expect from the businesses manufacturing them.