Green ven­ture

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - SAM KILMISTER

Manawatu¯ hos­pi­tal­ity providers are be­ing en­cour­aged to think greener as two for­mer nurses open Feild­ing’s first fully com­mer­cially com­postable cafe.

Ta­nia Cham­ber­lain and Chrys­tal Kur­tis hung up the stetho­scope to open their dream ven­ture Blended Cafe last week in Fer­gus­son St.

The cafe’s cups, burger boxes and bags - made from plants and plant waste - take only four days to break down and the duo urged con­sumers to start seek­ing other en­vi­ron­ment-friendly cafes.

‘‘Peo­ple need to be ask­ing about pack­ag­ing when they go to a cafe,’’ Kur­tis said.

‘‘This has to be driven by the con­sumer.

‘‘What world would my son live in if we all keep us­ing cups that take 20 years to com­post?’’

An agree­ment be­tween Labour and the Greens last month saw a com­mit­ment to mak­ing a re­duc­tion in all types of waste go­ing to land­fill, within the next two years.

Kiwi house­holds an­nu­ally send around 2.5 mil­lion tonnes of waste to land­fill each year, in­clud­ing around 350,000 tonnes of pack­ag­ing, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from re­cy­cle.co.nz.

Manawatu¯ District Coun­cil re­cy­cling of­fi­cer David McMil­lan was un­sure if any other cafes in Feild­ing used com­mer­cially com­postable pack­ag­ing, but rec­om­mended they fol­lowed Blended Cafe’s footsteps.

Petroleum-based plas­tic pack­ag­ing used by sev­eral food out­lets could not be re­cy­cled and was dumped in land­fills, McMil­lan said.

Be­cause com­postable pack­ag­ing was able to de­grade into harm­less el­e­ments no an­i­mals would be en­dan­gered due to lit­ter­ing.

While there was lim­ited in­fra­struc­ture in New Zealand to com­post pack­ag­ing com­mer­cially, McMil­lan said the coun­cil was work­ing on an emerg­ing scheme to deal with more com­postable ma­te­rial.

‘‘Coun­cil is all about re­duc­ing waste to land­fill so if a prod­uct can be re­cy­cled via the coun­cil-pro­vided re­cy­cling wheelie bin col­lec­tion or com­post­ing, then we are here to as­sist.’’

Cham­ber­lain said while the cost of eco-friendly pack­ag­ing drove prices up slightly, the duo wanted to use their health back­ground.

‘‘Is it cost­ing the con­sumer or is it cost­ing the en­vi­ron­ment? You have to ask how pack­ag­ing is af­fect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘It’s scary - peo­ple are ei­ther go­ing to take it or not. But if we [opened a cafe] we wanted it to sit right with us.’’

One cafe in town had stopped by to look at some sam­ples and get in­for­ma­tion, Cham­ber­lain said.

‘‘They just didn’t re­ally know where to start.’’

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Blended Cafe are us­ing com­mer­cially com­postable pack­ag­ing. Own­ers Chrys­tal Kur­tis, left, and Ta­nia Cham­ber­lain.

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