Better Burger want you to eat your rubbish.

Clearing your plate has taken on a new meaning at the Kiwi-owned fast-food chain, which will serve burgers at one of their restaurants in edible wrappers today.

The wrappers, made of potato starch, will be used on all burgers sold at the chain's Mt Eden restaurant between 11am and 1pm.

Better Burger co-owner and general manager Rod Ballenden said 500 edible wrappers had been made to mark International Earth Day, and also to raise awareness of other environmentally friendly initiatives at the chain.

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"We're challenging customers to eat everything on their plate ... it's a fun way to bring a serious issue to light."

Ballenden has taste-tested the wrappers and described the flavour as similar to a "potato version of a prawn cracker".

"On it's own it has almost got a bit of a sweet taste."

Better Burgers edible wrappers are made from potato starch. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Better Burgers edible wrappers are made from potato starch. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The edible wrappers were only in store to mark Earth Day, but it was possible as sustainable technology further developed and became cheaper they could one day become a permanent fixture.

Better Burger, which has five restaurants in Auckland and will open a sixth in Ponsonby before winter, has already switched from petrochemical-based disposable food packaging to compostable packaging - down to the straws in drinks.

The plant-based compostable packaging is supplied by another New Zealand company, Innocent Packaging, and was introduced in November, Ballenden said.

They kept quiet on its introduction because they wanted to make sure it worked first.

"This is now our opportunity to go public."

The move had already stopped almost 700,000 units of petrochemical-based plastics going to landfill, he said.

The next step was to partner with another Kiwi company, We Compost, and put identifiable compost bins inside restaurants. That was planned within a month.

Better Burger co-owner Rod Ballenden tucks into a his meal, burger wrapper and all, ahead of Earth Day. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Better Burger co-owner Rod Ballenden tucks into a his meal, burger wrapper and all, ahead of Earth Day. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Asked about the impact on the bottom line, Ballenden said there was some.

But the change in mindset and hyper-awareness about sustainability meant they were saving in other ways, such as in stock management and switching from boxed and wrapped delivery packaging to open crate.

Seeing food packaging "floating in the wind and on the beach" while out with his two kids meant he knew the decision was the right one, Ballenden said.

"It was a position of just knowing we had to do this. [Compared to multinational fast-food chains] we are a bit nimble and the No 1 goal was to do it before we get too big.

"I can hand on heart say we are not perfect. It's a journey."