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Report: Compost Infrastructure in Aotearoa, New Zealand

Report: Compost Infrastructure in Aotearoa, New Zealand

To assist our partners in making responsible end-of-life decisions, we completed an assessment of the compost infrastructure for compostable packaging across Aotearoa, New Zealand. As of May 2023, there are eight facilities and eight collection partners accepting certified compostable packaging. This ten-page report provides insight into basic questions such as where composting facilities that accept compostable packaging are located and the available collection partners for each region. 

We also updated our map of composting infrastructure and supportive collection partners across Aotearoa, New Zealand, available on our website under Compost Collect. For further information, including recommendations to the government, download your report below. 

Download the report

Closing the loop on compostable packaging 

Certified compostables are designed to decompose with food waste, removing mechanical separation requirements. Their value is maximised as carriers for food waste to generate energy and return to the soil as organic carbon and nutrients. 

This July, further single-use plastic bans came into effect, forcing a materials shift to compostable packaging. With our government pledging to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in local operations by 2025, infrastructure will have to expand for compostable packaging in select regions. The current waste strategy needs to provide considerable evaluation of the ethical responsibility of phasing out plastics for alternative materials.

— This resource will help inform the end-of-life decision-making process of our partners and various stakeholders. Our goal is to demonstrate. Retailers, food service businesses, and food waste generators can also use these resources to identify potential composting partners.

— As part of our 2024 circularity goals, we will re-launch and maintain communications encouraging our partners to invest in end-of-life solutions on-site. 

— Other compostable packaging manufacturers and distributors, event managers, farmers markets and food truck collectives may also use this infrastructure map to direct their customers towards private compost collection services based on the presence of composting facilities in select regions. 

— Councils can use this information about regional composting facilities to enact legislation banning food waste from landfills or to accelerate investments in composting infrastructure. 

Waste legislation reform

The current food scrap collections do not include compostable packaging, limiting our capacity to recover, transform and produce new materials or energy as part of a circular economy. Mandatory food scrap collections for businesses remain under consultation with the Ministry for the Environment. We are hopeful that councils will have to ensure that business collections will include compostable packaging, increasing biomass diversion from landfills by recovering food scraps attached to (food) packaging that would otherwise be lost if the packaging was removed from the bio-waste stream.

If your business serves compostable packaging on-site or sells coffee where cups make up a significant volume of your general waste, get in touch to discuss your collection options.