Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


New Study looks at how and where coffee cups are composted

Press Release

17 October 2016

The Packaging Forum has commissioned a detailed analysis of the estimated 295 million hot and cold disposable cups consumed in New Zealand each year to inform a new study into where compostable cups and lids can actually be composted. The work will be carried out by specialist consultancy Beyond the Bin to update its 2015 survey of facilities.

Lyn Mayes, Communications Manager for the Packaging Forum said: “Over 90% of the coffee and cold cups which are consumed are either manufactured or sold by our members. Over the past few years many New Zealand cafes and businesses have moved from paper cups lined with plastic to PLA lined coffee cups which are compostable only if they are sent to a commercial composting facility.”

“There is however confusion about how consumers actually know what type of cup they have and how and where they should dispose of it. Compostable cups and lids are made of different materials and how they break down in a compost facility and how long it takes is dependent upon the process. We have established a Working Group which includes all the major cup manufacturers, distributors as well as representatives from materials collectors to develop an industry position.”

Kim Renshaw, Director Beyond the Bin said:

"Beyond the Bin has started work to review the product range and identify the exact composition of coffee cups and lids and how they have been certified. This will provide the information required by compost facilities to verify whether the materials are compatible with their processes. In our 2015 study we found that the success of New Zealand composters to process PLA and C-PLA was largely related to process. C-PLA (coffee cup lid material) takes much longer than PLA (clear bio-plastic) to break down because it has been crystalised to withstand the heat of a hot drink. Some New Zealand composters have adjusted their processes to speed up the composting process, to effectively break down this type of bioplastic.”

“Beyond the Bin estimated there were 14 commercial composting facilities around New Zealand capable of composting clear and crystalised PLA when we undertook the survey last year but we will now revisit each facility with specific questions around the compostable cups and lids manufactured by Packaging Forum members. This will allow us to provide very clear guidance to manufacturers about where their products can be processed. We expect to publish this guidance over the summer.”

Mayes said “As Kim says, there are commercial facilities in New Zealand which can process PLA cups and lids now but we need a Guide which shows which products can be composted where. This study will also allow us to investigate with recyclers whether there are overseas markets for the more traditional paper cups lined with Polyethelene. It is important that we conduct thorough research so that we can develop an industry strategy around products which have become such a routine part of our lives.”

See Summary of Research: Assessing the Availability of Composting Facilities for events in New Zealand (2015)


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>


Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>


Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Fonterra: Farmers Taking Another Step Towards New Zealand’s Low Emissions Food Production

They’re hot off the press and intended to help take the heat out of climate change. Fonterra farmers are already among the world’s most sustainable producers of milk and now have an additional tool in their sustainability toolbox. Over the last few ... More>>


Electricity: New Zealand Remains In Top 10 For Energy Balance

The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index has become part of the energy dialogue both globally and in New Zealand. The Index illustrates the need for countries to balance energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. New Zealand ... More>>


Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>


Dairy: Fonterra Sells China Farms

Fonterra has agreed to sell its China farms for a total of $555 million (RMB 2.5 billion*1), after successfully developing the farms alongside local partners. Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Youran Dairy Group Limited ... More>>