National Recognition for Econic Composting Initiative

October 19, 2018

Prima Roastery has won national recognition as a finalist in the 2018 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards for making it easy for their customers to compost their used Econic packs.

The locally-owned Christchurch coffee company has responded to the lack of commercial compost facilities accepting compostable packaging by creating their own solution. They started out by composting their own used packaging on a private farm and then initiated a trial collection and composting service for their customers as well. They now have customer drop-off bins for used compostable products at their roastery and provide a bin collection and compost service to two large café clients for their green-waste, used packaging and compostable cups.

Prima Roastery Managing Director, Lee McDermid says, “As a small business we can’t make a huge dent in the overall waste issue, but we can make an outsized impact by showing how it’s possible and practical to take responsibility for our own outputs with a hands-on approach. Too often we hear people talk about how you need a commercial facility and precise temperature control to process these materials. We’re trying to show it’s not rocket science; you just might need to get your hands dirty.”

Prima Roastery (formally known as Caffe Prima) took the first step in their sustainable packaging journey in 2011 when they launched New Zealand’s first Econic pack for fresh roasted coffee. The company changed hands in 2017 and then rebranded in April 2018 with a new-look range of EconicKraft packs bearing their commitment to receive and compost any returned empty packs.

Prima Roastery’s EconicKraft packs are made by Convex from three compostable films derived from sustainably-produced wood pulp and GM-free corn sources. They are designed to break down in a home composting environment containing heat, water, oxygen soil and micro-organisms.

Going the extra mile to find a workable solution to make sure the Econic packaging they use and sell is disposed of correctly has generated a lot of positive feedback for Prima Roastery and won them new business as well.

Lee says, “People seem to really like the fact that we are genuine about composting our bags. Ideally we hope that large-scale commercial composting of certified compostable products will become available in each area to tackle this task but until that happens we will continue to do what we can to help process these bags and other compostable products back into soil.”

Prima coffee is available at Prima Roastery’s Christchurch espresso bar and roaster, and New Zealand-wide through their website and selected office suppliers.

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