Launch of Eco Pellets


The launch of Eco Pellets

Jonathan McKeown
Azwood Energy

Azwood Energy has developed an eco-friendly wood pellet packaging option that gives Kiwis an alternative to non-recyclable soft plastic bags.

Currently, the only way to purchase pellet fuel (a natural, low emission product) is in large plastic bags that many councils won’t accept in a recycling bin. With the bags from all pellet producers potentially totalling 1 million large bags per year – Azwood Energy moved to reduce the environmental impact by giving customers a recyclable, biodegradable option.

 “The waste and nature of plastic bags don’t align with our value of resourcefulness,” says Azwood Energy’s Marketing Manager, Jonathan McKeown. “Our customers told us they wanted another option and they shape the future of the market – and that is clearly not single-use plastic bags.”

Azwood Energy has now launched the Eco Pellets range. This premium wood pellet fuel, sourced from high-density Nelson pine trees grown in low-silica soils, which produces less ash when burned, is undergoing a makeover.  This convenient, quality-controlled, tested, certified and accredited carbon neutral wood fuel, made from 100% natural, recycled materials is now being matched with 100% recyclable packaging.

Azwood Energy, the Nelson company which is New Zealand’s leading wood energy supplier for industrial power generation through bulk biomass, wood chips and domestic wood pellets, has sustainability as the core of its philosophy.

For forty years the business has been founded on a self-evident principle that has guided the business’s decision-making. It starts with the simple but significant proposition, ‘why?’ “We believe in being resourceful and making the most of what we have been given,” McKeown says. “Our business is built around that.

“We remove the forestry slash, left over after logging operations have been completed, from the side of hills where it would otherwise rot and release carbon and methane.  Importantly, this residue recovery helps protect land and waterways from erosion. We take that slash and turn it into wood energy as a replacement for fossil fuels, coal and diesel. We are using a waste product, that otherwise has no purpose, to help create a low-emissions circular economy.”

Azwood Energy supplies biomass hog fuel and wood chip to huge boiler systems that power factories and heat organisations like hospitals and schools. Their wood fuel is a renewable, carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels like coal, diesel and gas.  Azwood Energy actively works with these high energy users to help the transition to a lower carbon future.

In completion of their circular economy, once Azwood’s wood energy has been utilised, the ash recovered is used in their dedicated organic media products. It’s this organic media, and other Azwood landscaping products, that then grow the pine seedlings to provide forest plantations for the Nelson region and beyond.

Recently, Azwood Energy’s pellet fuel customers had expressed a desire for a recyclable packaging option.  On investigation, Azwood discovered that, although their pellet fuel bags are marked recyclable, (No 4), New Zealand is not set up to deal well with the recycling of soft plastic and these pellet bags are often rejected. Furthermore, Azwood found that all New Zealand pellet fuel producers used similar plastic packaging.

The negative environmental impact of plastic bags is becoming more evident and a source of growing public concern. Victoria University lecturer, Joanne Harvey, who has reviewed plastic degradation, found a plastic bag can take more than a century to break down and when it makes its way into the ocean can harm sea life, both as the whole bag and after fragmentation into smaller pieces.

Not providing an alternative to plastic packaging did not fit well with Azwood Energy’s philosophy of resourcefulness and sustainability.  Nor did it fit with Azwood’s belief in furthering the local circular economies that will create a more positive environmental future for New Zealand. Azwood Energy saw an opportunity to help its pellet fuel customers act in a more environmentally-sound way. It listened to its customers who were asking for an innovative solution and it has provided one.

Azwood Energy’s Eco Pellets come in an attractive recyclable, biodegradable cardboard box, complete with easy-pour perforation. The 15kg boxes will be launched initially in stores across the South Island, reaching North Island stockists next month.

To find out if Azwood Eco Pellets are stocked by your local store, contact Azwood Energy on:
0800 AZWOOD (299663) or

Alternatively, visit the new Eco Pellet page on our website or click the video below.

Free Phone 0800 299 663 |



Contact us

Phone 0800 AZWOOD (299663)
03 547 4836
Fax 03 547 3258
Address PO Box 2180
Nelson 7041
New Zealand



About us

Azwood are working to help New Zealand transition to a lower carbon future by supplying cost-comparative carbon neutral wood fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Azwood have been in the energy sector for 38 years. Our main products are biomass hog fuel, wood energy chip and wood pellet fuel (industry and retail).
More About Us