Let’s start with compostable materials…
There are currently two primary types of compostable materials in New Zealand: certified commercially compostable and home compostable. certified commercially compostable material is the most commonly used in large volumes. These products are usually made of plant based materials and hold a Code 7 (in the little recycle triangle) as their rating.
#7/PLA — indicates a plant-based resin that will degrade under certain conditions. Unfortunately, a landfill isn’t one of them, though that’s where most of them end up. They’re not very “biodegradable” in the wild, either. In truth, few communities recycle any Code 7 plastics, but at Eventfinda Stadium our #& products are commercially composted which takes advantage of the #7 characteristic.
All products are biodegradable, its just that some take 6,000 years to biodegrade. We do not allow biodegradable products to be sold at Eventfinda Stadium.
What about Compostable?
Compostable has no set standard to it. This means products that may claim to be compostable actually cannot be composted in the facilities we use. Common mistakes include the assumption that inks which are printed on packaging or glues are compostable. These are not compostable therefore the product cannot be composted at our facility.
So, what does this mean?
Commercially certified products break down much faster than conventional materials, but only in specific conditions and environments. An industrial composting facility exposes them to heat and different bacteria and also aerates the materials for sufficient oxidization.
This sounds great, why isn’t everyone doing this?
There are limited facilities in Auckland and only certain facilities can access them. There is also very limited infrastructure for green waste and if products find themselves in there, the facility must send the whole lot to landfill as they are unable to separate the products from the rest of the green waste. In landfill, the products and green waste break down and create methane gas and carbon dioxide into the environment (greenhouse gases – which a commercial composting facility would capture).
What is the solution?
At Eventfinda Stadium we have a relationship with Green Gorilla who own the largest commercial composting facility in Auckland. Where a #7 product finds itself at this facility it is shredded, heated, airated and blended before being onsold (approximately 16 weeks later) as fertiliser and mulch to market gardens.