First city-wide compostable packaging collection launched in Christchurch

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Jeremy Innes, owner of Black Betty, says Switch Espresso coffees have been sustainable from the start.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Tips

Jeremy Innes, owner of Black Betty, says Switch Espresso coffees have been sustainable from the start.

New service offers Christchurch business owners and the public a simple solution to getting rid of compostable packaging.

The complete package is a collaborative service between the supplier of vegetable and compostable packaging Innocent Packaging and the waste disposal service Total Waste Solutions.

Since launching in Christchurch last week, more than 20 businesses have signed up to have their compostable packaging collected and properly composted. The public can also use the packaging return service they use.

Switch Espresso was one of the first companies to register and installed compostable bins in all of its cafes: Bunsen, Black Betty and Industrie Espresso Bar.

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Wholesale director Jeremy Innes said the company has followed sustainable practices since opening, including using compostable packaging from Innocent Packaging for the past six years.

“As a company, we are very environmentally friendly in the way we do things,” he said.

The Full Package, a service offered by Innocent Packaging, is the premier city-wide compostable packaging collection service.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Tips

The Full Package, a service offered by Innocent Packaging, is the premier city-wide compostable packaging collection service.

Innocent Packaging Managing Director Fraser Hanson stressed the importance of collaboration between companies to be more sustainable.

“Since each council has its own rules about what can and can’t go in the trash, composting in New Zealand can be confusing,” he said.

Switch Espresso owner Hamish Evans said it was frustrating that Christchurch City Council did not compost compostable packaging commercially.

“We have researched and worked with many companies for years to compost our packaging, but none of them worked.

The waste goes through a composting system to become finished compost, which will be sold and delivered to farms.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Tips

The waste goes through a composting system to become finished compost, which will be sold and delivered to farms.

“There haven’t been a lot of opportunities to compost the packages, so it’s a really good first step,” he said.

Innocent Packaging started in 2013 with a focus on plant-based packaging. The company now has around 150 products ranging from containers to straws to toilet paper.

“We want to create beautiful, sustainable products that offer solutions at the same time,” said Hanson.

The full package was a new service, but it was growing with more than 250 companies now registered in New Zealand, he said.

Registered companies receive a cardboard box from Innocent Packaging.

Total Waste Solutions empties the bins regularly and delivers the compostable packaging to Canterbury Landscapes, which is able to divert 1,000 tonnes of waste from the landfill per day.

The waste is then treated and turned into compost, which is sold and delivered to farms.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for waste and sustainability, so places have to work in harmony for this service to work,” said Hanson.



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