Case Study: Spark Arena, Auckland
Auckland’s Spark Arena has switched to 100% compostable serve ware for public events. On September 1st 2018, the venue implemented stage one of its Zero Waste Strategy, replacing all single-use cups and hot food packaging with carefully sourced plant-based alternatives from Innocent Packaging.
Compostable waste, which now includes cups, lids, straws, cutlery, napkins, food boxes as well as food waste, will be delivered directly to specialist local composting plant Envirofert, where it will be transformed into quality compost in just three months.
Spark Arena hosts over 500,000 customers each year, using well over a million disposable cups annually. A well-documented crisis in the recycling industry has seen reduced tolerance for contamination of recycling material, which has led to a substantial proportion of the venue’s recyclable material ending up in landfill.
“It made absolute sense to make a change. If you could see the volume of mess that is left after a concert, you would be truly horrified to realise just how much ends up in landfill.”When the house lights go up at the end of a show, the mixture of rubbish on the floors has proved almost impossible to sort through, with the large waste compactor outside working hard to cope. This downside to the entertainment industry has spurred the venue’s management team to thoroughly research the issues and find a new way to manage its environmental impact.
“Designing a robust new system for waste management at Spark Arena has included sourcing ethical products from reputable local supplier Innocent Packaging, creating bespoke bins with Method to promote behavioural change, and working closely with environmentally focused companies Green Gorilla and Envirofert to ensure products are disposed of in the right way.” Clumpas said.
Greener Arena ambassadors will be on hand to keep it sweet, and the compost clean, and it is hoped that by stage two of the Zero Waste strategy, snack suppliers will have found a way to provide treats in compostable packaging.
“My team are thrilled to implement this new strategy for the record-breaking run of six P!NK concerts this week. We estimate that for these shows alone 150,000 cups will be used, and it’s good to know for sure they’ll all be leaving here in the compost truck, not the landfill one.” Catering & Hospitality Manager, Mike Swan.
Says Brendan Hines, “It’s a great start, and I’m looking forward to seeing a positive shift across the events industry in the years ahead. I see more changes ahead, but we are taking it one step at a time, and trying to get it right”
It’s good news too for the arena’s bees, which have been busily making honey from nectar collected from the arena’s backstage gardens and the Quay St Pohutukawa trees, and will be first to benefit from the creation of compost.
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