In celebration of Conservation Week, Auckland’s leading ferry company delivers on promise to reduce reliance on plastics and single-use waste
Auckland’s largest ferry network is introducing a compost programme across its fleet this week. Fullers360, the new collaboration between sister companies Fullers and 360 Discovery Cruises, is stepping up to further protect the Hauraki Gulf – where they operate each day. Organics bins and new waste stations will be set up on vessels beginning 17 September, timed with Conservation Week.
Earlier this year, Fullers and 360 Discovery made a significant sustainability commitment, promising to reduce the use of plastic products at their onboard cafés. As key partners to the Department of Conservation (DOC), Fullers360 set a goal to introduce compost in celebration of Conservation Week 2018 – working diligently to replace all plastic items with eco-friendly, compostable alternatives. Previously, to mark Earth Day in April, they removed all plastic straws from every vessel in the fleet.
\We feel a strong responsibility for protecting the Hauraki Gulf environment, and all the shorebirds and marine life that call it home. We’re so lucky to be out on the water each day and want to make sure we’re doing our best to look after the area, including all the conservation islands we travel to,\" said Fullers360 Chief Executive Officer Mike Horne.
Getting on board with compostAll drinkware and tableware items available at the ferries’ onboard cafés are now commercially compostable. Based on an audit by waste management partners Rubbish Direct, Fullers360 estimates that nearly 85% of what was previously sent to landfill can now go to the organics bin. Compostable packaging from onboard cafés accounted for 80%, while food waste made up the other 5%.
The fleet has long been using Altura coffee cups and lids, which are compostable, but will now have the optimal collection point to maximise their eco-friendly benefits. The café also uses a range of EcoWare products, including clear cups for water and wine, utensils, plates, bowls and serviettes – all commercially compostable.
With nearly 20 vessels to complete, the introduction of Organics bins across the fleet is expected to take several weeks, through October. Crew are being trained to help customers understand the correct bin for their waste, and vessels are being stocked with signage offering clear instructions.
\"Thanks in advance to our customers for supporting us through this change. We’re proud of our customers for their passion for eco-friendly alternatives. Ultimately, we’ll rely on them to ensure coffee cups and other tableware ends up in the correct bin,\" said Horne.
Fullers360 also encourages customers to bring their own reusable coffee cups onboard, to reduce single-use waste altogether.
Working with Method Recycling and Rubbish DirectFullers360 thanks its waste management partners Rubbish Direct and Method Recycling for guiding them through this change.
\"We’ve been working closely with Rubbish Direct and have seen a massive improvement in our waste management processes. We use their premium hand-sorting service to ensure none of our recycling or compost is compromised,\" said Horne. \"Combined with use of Method Recycling’s organics bins and their best-practice instructions for customers, we expect to see a significant decrease in the amount of waste we send to landfill, shifting most of our non-recyclable waste to compost.\"
\"The team at Fullers360 are so passionate about ensuring the customer experience on their vessels is exceptional. Rubbish Direct were approached in 2016 to help the team at Fullers360 to meet their sustainability goals, which they are also as passionate about,” said Rubbish Direct Sales Manager Shon Smith. “Compostable packaging has been introduced on the vessels, which means the next step for Rubbish Direct and Fullers360 is adding a food waste / composting service. All items put into the food waste bins will be brought back to our depot, sorted for contamination and then taken out to be commercial composted.\"