Cookie Time is proud to be New Zealand made, owned and loved. We have been on a sustainability journey for a number of years and are proud to now launch our first compostable packaging; wrapped around our first plant based cookie!
For several years we have been actively investigating new packaging solutions, including compostable and alternate materials. Food safety and protecting the quality and integrity of products is crucial, given our focus on producing products free of preservatives and artificial colours and flavours. As well as thorough testing through the supply chain, there are also external certification processes to work through.
Long story short, this new packaging is made from compostable material. It is derived from sustainably managed renewable resources such as wood pulp and GM-free corn sources. The plant based inks and adhesives we use contain no heavy metals that would be harmful to worms, seedlings or the environment. However, there is a formal certification process underway to confirm that the film, ink and adhesives in combination are home and commercially compostable. This formal certification process takes up to 12 months, once the certification process is completed the packaging will display the official logo. In the meantime, it is at the consumers discretion whether they home compost this packaging or not.
Why have you decided to make the Cookie Time Plant Based Cookie packaging compostable?
With the launch of our first plant based cookie it was a no-brainer that the packaging also be plant based and compostable. While compostable packaging technology is evolving and the infrastructure in New Zealand is in its infancy, we believe that as many manufacturers as possible need to actively participate so the industry, along with collection and handling facilities, can grow.
What is compostable packaging?
Compostable packaging is capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost environment, with the ability to disintegrate to become indistinguishable in the compost. Our packaging can break down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass at a rate that is consistent with known organic materials without producing any toxic materials or causing adverse effects to compost.
What material is the Cookie Time Plant Based Cookie packaging made from?
The compostable packaging is derived from sustainably managed renewable resources such as wood pulp and GM-free corn sources. The film has been certified to a European standard EN13432 for compostability.
If the packaging is compostable, why is it undergoing further certification?
While the packaging base material is certified as compostable in isolation, any alterations made after this validation require further testing.
For food safety and product freshness, two base film materials are layered with a plant based adhesive. This together with the plant based ink on the film forms the finished product. The films are derived from sustainably managed renewable resources such as wood pulp and GM-free corn sources, and the plant based inks and adhesives we use contain no heavy metals that would be harmful to worms, seedlings or the environment. However, the finished product requires re-testing for formal certification for both home and commercial compostability. Only when this is complete, we can place the formal certification logos on our packaging.
What is involved in compostability testing?
We are using an independent research institute to test the packaging against the Australasian Bioplastics Association standards for Home and Commercial composting (AS 5810 and AS 4736). There are numerous tests the packaging undergoes, including biodegradation, disintegration, ecotoxicity and chemical characterisation. Once the packaging has passed all the above tests, another independent institute double checks all the requirements have been met.
More detail about the compostability testing, here.
When will you have the result?
The timeframes set by the Australasian standard vary for home and commercial composting. Biodegradation and disintegration must occur within a 12-month period, under specific conditions for home composting while commercial composting must be completed within a 6-month period. As soon as we receive the results, we will update our packaging to add the official home and commercial composting certification logos.
What is the benefit of displaying the logos on the packaging?
Having the logos on the packs means consumers and composting facilities can easily identify that our plant based cookie packaging has been certified to an internationally recognised standard.
How do I dispose of the packaging in the meantime?
Unfortunately, councils in New Zealand currently do not accept compostable materials in the Organics (food and garden waste) bin. This is because they do not break down within the 12-week processing time allowed for, at council facilities.
The packaging base material itself is certified as compostable, and the plant based inks and adhesives we use contain no heavy metals that would be harmful to worms, seedlings or the environment. However, it is at the consumers discretion whether they add the packaging to their home compost before we receive our official certification logos. If waiting for this is preferred, the packaging can always be saved and stored in the meantime.
When the film has received its certification, where can I take it to be composted?
We will be keeping a close eye on local council updates to monitor when changes are made to the current position on handling compostable material.
A list of facilities throughout New Zealand that accept compostable packaging can be viewed here
Through this initiative here, you can donate or receive compostable waste from people in your local area. This is great for those who want to divert their compostable waste away from landfill but don’t have their own composting setup.
Further information and resources are listed below: