6 Jul 2017

A trial of disposable food packaging and cutlery that successfully ran at three major events in Christchurch last summer is extending with the aim to cover 30 events across the city from September this year.

The trial, which saw all food vendors at Sparks, the Christchurch Lantern Festival and the Fairfax Night Noodle Markets sign up to using compostable food packaging, saw a massive 12 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill across the three events. 

Compostable food packaging.

Compostable food packaging already trialled at three major events in Christchurch will be rolled out at around 30 more events in the next 18 months.

Christchurch City Council Manager Events and Arts Karena Finnie said phase two of the trial would involve approximately 30 events over an 18 month period, beginning with the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 in September.

“Phase one of the trial covered three major events in the city and we believe it was a huge success. The trial results showed 61 per cent of waste from the events was diverted from landfill. We had fantastic feedback from the public in terms of their support for what we were doing.

“From September we are looking at having approximately 30 events (both internal Council run events and externally run events) over an 18 month period take part in composting their waste. We are also looking at expanding the ranges and suppliers involved. The majority of the feedback from the public who attending the events last year was that they wanted more of this. People want sustainable events. They want to know that they’re looking after the environment.”

The Sparks event was the most successful of the three held last summer, with 75 per cent of its total waste diverted from landfill (compared to 51 % last year), the Christchurch Lantern Festival had 58% of waste diverted from landfill (up from 22% last year), and the Night Noodle Markets had 61% of waste diverted from landfill (no results were available from the previous year).

“It was a huge undertaking – with more than a year’s work going into finding manufacturers and suppliers of a compostable product, providing education workshops for food vendors, organisation of waste sorters and volunteers at the event, and educating the public on what we were trying to do. We can’t wait to get involved and put all of our research back into action at the events kicking off from September this year.”