Life Cycle of Product and Packaging

The changemaker's guide to make the most of your products and the packaging that holds them.

First up, round up all of your Goodbye products

All products are labeled with a batch and use by date. If you've had the product awhile, chances are the use dates are long gone on labels and tins. If you remember the date you opened them, that helps. But if you're like us, we've got quite a few on the go, and they go missing, and then appear at the bottom of a bag months even years later.

So here's how you tell the age of your product by the LOOK and SMELL

For SANDFLY bottles you can count on about two years of life in your products from when you purchased them. Depending on how they were treated, we've had bottles that were five years old still fine to use. Just put a small amount on your hand and smell. If it smells good, it's good. If it smells like old cooking oil, it's time for finding another use for it, or adding it to your garden.

For Manuka Balm and Sun Balm in tubes are well protected from oxygen, so they last longer. The batch and use by are imprinted in the plastic and you'll be able to reference it with confidence.

The products packaged in aluminium tins, however begin to age more quickly once you start using them. Once opened, you can reliably get a year of use on Manuka Balm and Vanilla Balm.

For Sun Balm in tins, we recommend using it within 6 months. This is because it has a big job to do as a sunscreen. But pine not, there's other incredibly useful things to do with Sun Balm- see section below.

Sun Balm - is it still good?

Sun Balm Tins

For products packaged in aluminium tins, begin to age more quickly once you start using them. Once opened, you can reliably get six months of use on Sun Balm. Depending on how it's been stored, how often opened, this could easily be 12 months.

Fresh product will smell delicious, with no sense of old cooking oil smell, which is a sign of oxidation (rancid oils).

Use our colour guide to compare your tin.

Manuka Balm- is it still good?


For products packaged in aluminium tins, begin to age more quickly once you start using them. Once opened, you can reliably get a year of use on Manuka Balm and Vanilla Balm.  If stored cool, you'll get 18 months pretty easily.

Fresh product will smell delicious, with no sense of old cooking oil smell, which is a sign of oxidation (rancid oils).

Use our colour guide to compare your tin.

If your product is good but your tin is tired

It's time to love up the threads, and at some point, recycle that aluminium

Cleaning threads every now and again is like wiping off the kitchen bench - it just feels so good to do it. Aluminium does oxidise any product that gets thinly spread in the threads over time, and it goes yucky and grey. This is not a nice product experience. 

The green tins can wear on the threads too, and they love a bit of care, or they go grey mixed with green, again yucky!

To clean the threads

Use a tissue and take out the wad, give it and the inside of the lid a wipe and replace wad. Then, run the tissue around the outside of the base of the tin on the threads.The lid will go on and off more smoothly, the product will stay cleaner, and you'll feel better, just like that clean bench.

second life uses for old products

when we say multi-use we really mean it


I use old Manuka Balm as a tree paste and as a leather conditioner on my boots and shoes. It's also been used as a squeek stopper on doors, as a way to keep thread from getting frizzy, and as lubrication for a sticky barrel pump.


Old product can be used as furniture polish, cutting board care, and treatment of any oiled wood surfaces.

I use old Goodbye SANDFLY on the oiled ply walls in my office - it not only nourishes the wood, but the essential oils help keep the mildew from forming in winter.

Sun Balm has many stand out uses beyond being a sunscreen.

I tend to keep Sun Balm as a sunscreen very fresh, changing them out completely each year. But they still have good colour and smell nice, so I re-purpose still good product to a variety of second life uses.I don't recommend using highly oxidised product (white!) for these second uses. If it's white, it's time to lovingly put the sunscreen in the rubbish and put the tin in recycling. (see below)


Goodbye STINKY. I have used Sun Balm daily as an under arm deodorant for the past three years. Zinc is great at antibacterial action. Just a little bit, and does not stain my clothes or feel sticky... at all.


Goodbye BLISTER LIPS. It soothes lips when a lip blister is threatening, and shortens the time to healthy lips if a blister does come up. You can also apply before a cold swim to protect your lips from the shock of cold water which often stresses the lips to make a blister.


Goodbye RED BABY BOTTOM. As a beautiful baby bottom balm. Make sure babe is good with the product with a patch test on the inside of the elbow and wait for 20 minutes. If no redness, you now have a gentle and effective bottom balm. The best.


Goodbye UNHAPPY SKIN. Zinc has unique effectiveness on a variety of skin issues. Like Manuka Balm, Sun Balm's care ranges wide. Try it on fungal feet, small rashes, scrapes, and bites.

what to do with packaging at the very, very end?

glad you asked!


sugar cane tubes

We have transitioned to 75% sugar cane tubes made in a solar powered factory to keep them low carbon.

The tubes have a layer that protects the product from oxygen and this makes every tube a #7 plastic, which at this time in New Zealand is not recyclable.

These tubes are for the rubbish. You can take heart that by using a water-free product that you've reduced the plastic use by 50%

Next Steps

We are working with our tube manufacturer (in Australia) who is close to a "mono material" tube that we will test as soon as available.

We are also testing Polypropylene (easiest plastic to recycle) containers for refill systems in for workplace and teams. Look for a new range in 2024.


aluminium tins

It's true, aluminium tins are not forever containers, they are soft metal and bruise in pockets and purses over time. Sometimes a thread clean is not going to cut it.

Aluminium costs communities and the earth to get it from heavy bauxite mining, so once it's been extracted, it is precious! 

These tins are efficient, one small tin is 1/4 of a soda can worth of aluminium and it is infinitely recyclable.

Make sure it goes back to be recycled. Over and over.


Remove the wad (the white bit inside the lid- rubbish), and put aluminium in recycling.

It helps if you can bunch it with other aluminium to make sure it's big enough to be captured at a mixed bin curbside pickup.

Alternatively, collect the small aluminium tins, and take them to the recycling centre to sort it to the correct place.

clear and white bottles & pumps + dropper bottle

Clear bottles

Please Wash out before recycling

The SANDFLY clear bottles can go in recycling as #1 PET plastic. Some districts may not capture the little SANDFLY 50ml bottle as it may be below size- for more confidence, take to the recycler and place in correct bin.

The SANDFLY white one litre is recyclable as #2 HDPE.

All SANDFLY pumps go to rubbish.

Dropper bottles

so reusable!

Dropper bottles are LDPE and plastic #4 which is not recyclable.

Before you rubbish it though, it can be used over and over again from the larger SANDFLY sizes- seriously, like ten times. 


We've also cleaned out dropper bottles for our first aid kit to be irrigation for cleaning sand from beach cuts and scrapes. Useful!

The dropper can hold other favourite oils or serum. These little dropper bottles are perfect size for taking other liquids traveling - make sure you re-insert the little dropper though, that keeps it leakproof.

Circular Steel and Large Sun Refill

Goes round and round

In New Zealand, the stainless steel (SUN 200g and SANDFLY 450ml) can be used over and over again with our free return and $20 credit (see below for return request button)

Outside of New Zealand, put your amazing container to many uses in your kitchen. DALCINI™ Stainless is Non-leaching, Dishwasher-safe, Freezer-safe, Oven-safe, Space-saving, Child-safe, Ethically-made in India, No Hormone-disruptors, No Lead, No Aluminum, profoundly reusable

Request Courier Ticket to Return Steel

Packaging is a work in progress for all of us.

As New Zealand shapes a nationwide standard, we work to make sure you have the best options for minimising packaging impact.

Please check back regularly as we continue to evolve and update.