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Great outcome after waste minimisation funding

Wednesday 6 September, 2023

More than 150,000 plastic pots were eliminated from the operations of Native Garden Nursery last year thanks to a $10,000 contribution from the 2022 Waste Minimisation Fund.

Every year Gisborne District Council supports a community initiative that contributes to reducing waste in our region.

Nursery managers Lana and Nigel Hope used the money to help them trial an ‘Ellepot’ machine that created pots made from biodegradable paper.

It’s taken plastic pots out of their plant production process and out of landfills.

Lana says their clients have enjoyed receiving plants that can be put straight in the ground without any pots to deal with.

“We’ve received lots of positive feedback from customers who welcome the changes we’ve made and appreciate being able to buy plants in a more sustainable way without any plastic.

“For large-scale revegetation projects, the paper pots have made it easier for planting crews to plant.

“Plant health is also improved and without the stress of root-disturbance, and plants perform really well in the field.

“The improved root systems have produced an overall healthier and strong plant, which reduces the need for extra spraying and labour.”

In July 2020, the Government announced six products to be declared ‘priority products’ for the establishment of regulated product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA).

“NZPPI (New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated) is recommending that our industry begins to act to implement an industry framework for waste, starting with plastic packaging. Technology such as Ellepot provides an opportunity to progressively remove plastics from our supply chains and trial new materials for our industry,” says Lana.

Council Waste Minimisation Lead Charlotte Phelps says Native Garden Nursery is a fantastic example of a business leading the way.

“It’s an incredible feat and they’re going to continue their propagation this way given the success of the trial.

“Some of the best ideas to minimise waste are sitting out there in our community.

“The funding is there to support these initiatives. We are looking to fund new projects that contribute to waste minimisation, avoid harm and improve resource efficiency.

“The fund is for trialling or supporting new waste minimisation initiatives rather than giving ongoing support for operational activities - an individual can be granted up to $10,000 of funding or, the $10,000 can be dispersed between several recipients - no more than $10,000 will be granted collectively.”

Alongside Native Garden Nursery, other past grantees of this fund include:

  • NZ Baby Supplies with an initiative to provide cloth nappies to new parents to reduce the number of disposable nappies in landfill
  • Super Grans’ project to dehydrate and pack produce for the community that would otherwise go to landfill
  • Gizzy Kai Rescue a Gisborne-based not-for-profit food rescue organisation that redistribute rescued food otherwise destined for landfill and provide it to those experiencing food scarcity.

If you’ve got an idea and think it could be next, visit our website for more information and the application form.

Native Garden Nursery biodegradable pot