New Zealand's eco-warriors say good old 'Kiwi ingenuity' is needed to tackle plastic crisis

New Zealand may not be as clean and green as once thought, but eco-warriors say the country still has its Kiwi ingenuity - and that's the answer to tackling the plastics crisis. 

Leaders from all sectors gathered at a sustainability conference on Monday, to trade tips on how businesses can tackle plastic pollution and still remain profitable. 

There was no shortage of plastic, less-than-fantastic videos being shared, and plenty of scary facts to match - such as 295 million disposable cups going to the landfill each year. 

"The facts are very terrifying, you can't deny it. It's why a lot of people are in denial, because it's too scary to face," says Brianne West, the founder of sustainable cosmetics company, Ethique.

But on Monday, it wasn't just about facing up to the problem. It was about focusing on the solution.

"We actually know what to do, we just have to do it now," says Rachel Brown, from the Sustainable Business Network.

Sustainable Business Network has set a goal to be free of single-use plastics by 2025. 

They say the answer is to embrace good old-fashioned Kiwi ingenuity.

This same ingenuity has seen David Trubridge design his lights as kit-sets to reduce plastic packaging. 

"We've had this image of us being one of the cleanest countries, we're actually one of the worst," says Trubridge, a furniture designer based in Whakatu.

Brianne West has started the now most sustainable cosmetics company in the world. 

"I started Ethique in my flat in a kitchen, with a bowl and a microwave and a big grand dream," she told Newshub.

The company sells bathroom products by the bar, not the bottle. 

"We've saved 4.3 million plastic bottles from landfill, but we've inspired so many other companies to do the same. We can't create change on our own, we need to create inspiration for other companies to do something similar," she says. 

A sustainable and successful business, encouraging everyone to think outside the bottle.