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Papamoa Junior Girls Tournament reduces waste!

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

Approximately 600 people attended the Girls’ Junior Football Tournament at Gordon Spratt Reserve on Sunday the 18th of August 2019.

A great day of football was enjoyed by all the players and supporters.

The day gave us bitterly cold winds and it eased up just slightly late morning.

The two Coffee trucks maintained steady queues almost upon arrival at 7am all the way into the afternoon. The only other vendor, Lil Orbits, sold out of donuts around 3pm.

So it was a great day for the vendors but there is obviously room for a couple more of them, with plenty of attendees seeking hot food or drink.

Big ups to Lil Orbitz for rocking fully compostable serve ware and all the punters who contributed to landfill diversion by putting this in the right bins. Lots of fruit skins naturally made it into the green bin and there were far fewer times than usual where I had to move compostable waste from the red landfill bin the green bin. This is a positive sign of improvement.

Sadly all the coffee cups had to be moved into the red bin. There were mainly two types; one from each of the coffee vendors, which were the attractive artist series kokako cups that clearly stated it was P.L.A compostable plastic and the white with green print P.L.A cups that said 100% compostble 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable.

How incredibly misleading it is for anyone trying to do the right thing and dispose of a cup to read that it is both recyclable and compostable. It’s certainly not viably recyclable. It’s compostable but not on a big scale in the Bay Of Plenty, and almost everything in the end is biodegradable.

People mostly chose the yellow recycling bin for their coffee cups. I was kept busy moving these over into the red bin.

The waste data (kg) leads to a poor diversion rate.

Compost 12.8

Recycling 5.6

Cardboard 2.3

Glass .2

Total waste diverted 20.9

Landfill 9.8kg

Total event waste 30.7

Landfill diversion 69%

The Waste Minimisation network, the Council, the coffee vendors and the people of the Bay Of Plenty need to fast track a solution to prevent compostable coffee cups from heading directly to landfill. Other regions’ composting industry have decided to accept compostable plastic and the BoP has not, so we need to engineer another solution to this. All the cups comply with the council packaging framework even though they are all destined for the naughty bin.

Mug/cup libraries would work if it wasn’t for the perishable nature of some cups (potential hazard) and the logistical reality of encouraging a boomerang system similar to the way boomerang bags work. Incentivising keep cups is a must. Maintaining high health and safety standards is paramount throughout the operation.

Vincent Callister

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