One of New Zealand's largest coffee companies has embraced compostable packaging but options to dump the waste continue to be limited.

Mojo general manager, Katy Ellis, said the company was working to move all its packaging to materials that could easily be broken down to compost.



However there were not enough commercial composters able to process compostable packaging, Ellis said.

"We all know its something we need to be considering very carefully. We only have one planet," Ellis said. 

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"But one of the big problems [with using compostable materials] is the actual availability of a commercial composting facility because they are not consistent around the country in terms of what they can take and how they can take it in."

Ellis said the company had faced difficulty in sourcing compostable packaging across its entire operations. All Mojo's takeaway packaging was compostable, however, the company has had difficulty finding the right bags for its fresh coffee.

"It doesn't happen overnight. There are issues with finding the right suppliers who have something that fits what your requirements are."

While all the packages were compostable, the options for customers in terms of where to dispose of their used packages continued to be a problem.

Ellis agreed this advantaged people who worked in the vicinity of one of the cafes where there were compost bins in-store.

"We are trying to make our solutions. But the big picture is it's obviously a government and council issue. They need to drive and help consumers understand these sorts of things," she said.  

As a business, Mojo accepted the higher cost of compostable packaging and its other sustainable measures as the small part it could play to make a difference to the environment, Ellis said.

Innocent Packaging general manager Fraser Hansen said there were commercial composting operations in some city centres.

In June last year Innocent Packaging and waste company We Compost installed trial compost bins in central Auckland.

"For the average consumer, if there isn't a compost bin for it to go in, it will just go into the landfill. We need more composting infrastructure for it to be more of a viable option," he said.

"Changing the plastic bag, again that's not the silver bullet but it the catalyst to then go, what's next? As humans we inherently want everything to be fixed before we do anything, but that's not how it works," he said. 

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But until the Government implemented an outright ban on single use plastic, the product would continue to be used. 

"If its available, people will buy. But the mentality is shifting. Some people do care what we are using and now businesses are realising they will lose customers and support if they don't get on board," he said.

"If the big businesses lead the way on composting and reusable products, it will be possible for everyone."

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