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

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / stuff

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

A new service offers Christchurch business owners and the general public an easy way to dispose of compostable packaging.

The full package is a cooperation service between the plant-based, compostable packaging provider Innocent Packaging and the disposal service Total Waste Solutions.

Since its launch in Christchurch last week, more than 20 companies have signed up for their compostable packaging to be collected and properly composted. The public can also use the service to return packaging they have used.

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

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

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

The Full Package, a service from Innocent Packaging, is the first city-wide collection service for compostable packaging.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / stuff

The Full Package, a service from Innocent Packaging, is the first city-wide collection service for compostable packaging.

Fraser Hanson, General Manager of Innocent Packaging, emphasized the importance of cooperation between companies for more sustainability.

“With each council having their own rules of what can and can’t go into the garbage can, composting in New Zealand can be confusing,” he said.

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

“We have been looking for and working 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 that is sold and delivered to farms.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / stuff

The waste goes through a composting system to become finished compost that is sold and delivered to farms.

“There weren’t many ways to compost the packaging, so this is 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, from containers and straws to toilet paper.

“We want to make beautiful, sustainable products that also offer solutions,” said Hanson.

The full package was a new service, but it has grown with more than 250 registered companies across New Zealand, he said.

Registered companies receive a cardboard container from Innocent Packaging.

Total Waste Solutions empties the bins on a regular basis and delivers the compostable packaging to Canterbury Landscapes, which is able to dispose of 1000 tons of waste from the landfill every day.

The waste is then processed and made into compost, which is sold and delivered to farms.

“There isn’t a single keyword for waste and sustainability, so the locations have to harmonize for this service to work,” said Hanson.