The ephemeral nature of New Zealandís screen production industry presents particular challenges for the introduction of environmentally responsible practices. One of these challenges is reducing the environmental impacts associated with working on location including special effects that may involve the use of fire, explosives, water and artificial snow. With no fixed office or studio base, it can be difficult for productions to develop and maintain environmental management systems. The suggestions below have been developed to assist screen production companies and professionals in managing their environmental impacts on location.


Require caterers to implement environmentally responsible practices in service contracts.
Encourage the use of reusable washable cutlery, plates and cups. Avoid disposable catering items, if disposable items must be used request biodegradable options such as plates made from corn starch.
Ensure catering numbers are as accurate as possible to avoid over catering and wastage.
Apply fair trade principles when selecting imported food products e.g. coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas.
Encourage the use of locally sourced ingredients, and where possible organic ingredients.
Ensure that recycling facilities are available on location and obviously marked both on site and on call sheets.
Look for suitable places to display posters about environmental issues, e.g. in the catering area or in the trailers for cast and crew.
Investigate local recycling operators to assist with the collection of recyclable waste e.g. the Trash Palace Recycling Centre in the Wellington Region.
Encourage the use of personal travel mugs and reusable/refillable drink bottles to discourage the consumption of disposable waxed paper cups and plastic bottles.
If local facilities permit separate food waste from general waste for composting.

Catering is an important part of the screen production industry. Often shoots exceed 12 hours and it is necessary to provide catering for large numbers of cast and crew. With advance planning, washable cutlery and crockery can be used to reduce waste from disposable catering ware. Where time is at a premium, compostable plates and cups made from corn or potato starch can be used. Food waste can be collected for composting by providing separate bins with compostable (corn starch) liners.

Diverting Waste from Landfill while Filming Sioneís Wedding on Location

During the filming of the feature film Sioneís Wedding, there were occasions when there were more than 200 cast, crew and extras on set.

The catering firm provided washable plates, cutlery and serving utensils with all meals. This reduced the disposable items sent to landfill.

The cast and crew separated their food waste from general waste and it was collected for pig feed, diverting significant amounts of organic waste from landfill.

Luscious Catering Goes Green

Jono Clarke at Luscious Catering has been looking at environmentally friendly practice in the day to day running of his business.

All of their food scraps go to a free range pig farm and this teamed up with the fact that they can now recycle all clean plastic wrap means that their recycle to landfill ratio is more than 2:1 and getting better all the time.

Luscious was the first to use Potatopak plates and cutlery when disposable is required, but their preference is to still use real crockery and cutlery.

The introduction of Biobag Rubbish bags - a completely biodegradable rubbish bag has helped reduce their environmental impact further, with organic meat and free-range eggs completing the picture.
Greening the Screen Logo