Our goal: Minimise the environmental impact of the materials we use

Wine production, like all agricultural production, generates waste. Reduce, reuse and recycle is a mantra for those working in New Zealand’s vineyards and wineries, where by-products are routinely diverted from the waste stream and turned to beneficial use.

New Zealand Wine supports the industry to:

  • Reduce chemical residues, diffuse discharges, single-use plastics, treated timber and waste to landfill
  • Develop innovative solutions for dealing with waste and alternatives to troublesome/dangerous waste products
  • Improve supply chain efficiency


99% of SWNZ members implemented a waste reduction/recycling programme

Based on 1676 vineyards and 159 wineries, 2019
Winemaking Giesen
Giesen Wines

What we’re doing:

While all agricultural production generates waste, the majority of vineyard and winemaking waste can be repurposed.

The bulk of the waste from vineyard and winery operations: vine pruning, grape stalks and marc (skins and seeds) are valued by the New Zealand viticulturist for what it is: an asset. It is mulched and/or composted, then applied back on to vineyards and gardens as nutrients, improving moisture retention, keeping weeds down, increases organic matter and reduces temperature variations - resulting in healthier vines. 

Packaging materials from wineries and vineyards are recovered and recycled by nationwide and regional recycling programmes.

Cardboard, plastic wrap, glass, batteries, and even solvents and waste oils are reused or recycled rather than ending life as landfill.

A growing area of interest and opportunity for winery by-products is the processing of grape seeds to extract antioxidants for use in health and cosmetic products.

Members must comply with our Code of Practice. Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand annual audits check everything from records of spillage and management protocols, storage of products prior to reuse, recycling or collection, and staff training records to prove that participants know how to manage waste.

Members must demonstrate that they use appropriate methods to dispose of wine by-products such as marc, lees and sludge, and if contractors are used, they must also comply.

Sustainability in Action

Look at some at what our grape growers and wineries are doing below to reach our goal

Webpage Waste
Back to top