A compostable cup bin sits outside an Auckland cafe

Innocent Packaging and We Compost have started working with over 100 Auckland cafés in order to bring cup composting facilities to the central city. Innocent Packaging, a plant-based packaging company, and We Compost, a compost business, are working with café owners to stop compostable packaging from going to landfill.

"New Zealand can't recycle plastic, everything ends up in the landfill. We have two options, either create more plastic recycling facilities or compost infrastructure," said Tony Small, founder of Innocent Packaging. "We partnered because for so long we've seen no action. It took us six weeks to implement our idea. Zero waste solutions do exist and are easy to implement with the right collaboration."

Chuffed Café owner Scott McLean said the cost of the compostable cups was only marginally higher than those with plastic lining, but bemoaned the lack of education surrounding compostable cups.

"You can't dump compostable cups in recycling bins. The council doesn't provide a service to dispose of compostable materials. To me that's ridiculous," McLean said. "Having the bins out has made it a talking point among customers. There are people who throw other things in compost bins but you just have to let them know not to."