New Zealand Organic Chicken Producer Takes Responsibility for its Own Packaging Waste

New Zealand’s only commercial organic chicken producer is taking packaging waste management into its own hands.

Bostock Brothers is taking a lead and now offering a solution to its customers to return its home compostable packaging waste.

Bostock Brothers co-owner Ben Bostock says people who have bought Bostock Brothers Chicken can now return the home compostable packaging in free courier boxes and Bostock Brothers will ensure it is properly composted.

“We will compost the chicken packaging and then use the compost to spread on our maize which we grow and feed back to our chickens. At Bostock Brothers we grow our own chicken feed, so the compost is really useful, because we don’t use compound fertilizers, we use alternatives like compost which is great for soil health too. Now our customers can help contribute to this.

“If people don’t have a compost this is a free alternative to ensure the waste is composted correctly and it also creates a sustainable circle of life,” says Mr Bostock.

Customers haven’t wasted any time in getting on board with dozens already registering to receive their return courier box.

“We knew this initiative would be popular but we have been overwhelmed with the daily registrations we are getting since we launched it last week.”

Bostock Brothers created New Zealand’s first home compostable meat packaging last year in a move to reduce plastic waste going to landfill.

“Our compostable packaging has been really well received, however we still field inquiries from people who don’t have a home compost or would like to know more about composting. We want to go that extra step further and provide them with a solution if they don’t have a compost.”

The system is simple as customers can just register online and will be sent a box with a free return courier label. Once they have collected 20 compostable packs they just send the box back to the Bostock Brothers.

“We put these compostable packs in a large compostable site where they can be broken down easily and quickly with the correct amount of soil, heat, oxygen and water.”

The compost created from the return compostable packages is spread on the organic maize paddocks and this maize is then fed back to the organic chickens.

“We think this is a win win for everyone as it’s providing the customers a solution if they don’t have a home compost, and it’s enabling us to create great compost which we can use to grow the maize for our chickens.

Bostock Brothers home compostable packaging material is certified to the European and American composability standards. However, currently in New Zealand there is no official compostable standard.

“We are pro-regulation and would like to see New Zealand quickly develop home compostable standards to.

“We are calling on the industry to regulate so there is some assurance. We are educating consumers ourselves and providing the necessary information they need to dispose of our packaging. It would certainly help if we had better regulation in New Zealand.”

Mr Bostock says Bostock Brothers compostable packaging is the way forward as there is a strong movement to ditch plastic.

“We want to be part of the drive to get rid of plastic. We want to be leaders in our industry. We are passionate about farming sustainably and reducing our environmental impact to meet demand.

“We are confident that this move to manage our own compostable packaging waste will be popular among our environmentally conscious consumers and is a step in the right direction.”