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Eco start-up taking care of New Zealand’s big backyard

Ecobags co-founder Jas Kohli

Ecobags is a New Zealand start-up that wraps ‘doing the right thing’ into everyday business. As part of their sustainability ethos, they’re supporting native tree planting through Trees That Count and feeling good about making a difference in their own backyard.

Founders, and husband and wife team, Jas and Simren Kohli, first started Ecobags in 2007 and were ahead of the curve with creating a more sustainable alternative to plastic bags. 

They started out small, first producing reusable tote bags before developing a range of compostable bioplastic products and adding the popular Earth Rated doggy-doo bags to their now extensive range.

“We started Ecobags because we were really tired of the waste created by single-use plastic bags and we wanted to challenge the status quo and offer a better alternative that was still practical,” says Jas.

Today, the Auckland team of eight are just as driven as ever to keep doing right by the environment. To give back where they can, Ecobags has funded 1,000 native trees through the Trees That Count marketplace since coming on board as a supporter in 2019.

Choosing Trees That Count as a charity to get behind, says Jas, “just made sense” and aligned with their values.

“The nice thing about it is it is local and we really wanted to influence something in our own backyard. Trees That Count is one of the more recognisable causes and it has a great reputation and great awareness in New Zealand.”

Through their support of Trees That Count, Ecobags has helped five deserving planting projects in the community upscale their planting projects. 

Among them is the Blue Orb Charitable Trust who’ve received 6,000 native trees through the Trees That Count marketplace. The group are working tirelessly to give New Zealanders the chance to see real-life kiwi at the historic site in Whangaruru North Head. 

To do that, they’ll need to create forest environments that will help Kiwi thrive, which involves significant native tree planting. Ecobags are proud to have contributed to this project and others like it, with more native trees to support healthy habitats for our indigenous wildlife.

Funding over 500 native trees has earned Ecobags the Trees That Count Committed To Climate Kahurangi mark, which they’re now proudly wearing on a selection of their consumer-focused products. 

Jas and Simren agree that consumers are increasingly looking for evidence that the brands they support are going the extra mile to do the right thing locally, and putting the environment at the heart of what they do.

“I think first and foremost supporting native tree planting was something we wanted to do, not necessarily something we needed to do. But having the Committed To Climate mark on our products is absolutely a valuable reinforcing tool to show our customers that we’re doing something good for the environment.”

More about the planting projects supported by Ecobags through Trees That Count: