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.
While all agricultural production generates waste, the majority of vineyard and winemaking waste can be repurposed.
The majority of waste from vineyard and winery operations: vine prunings, grape stalks and marc (skins and seeds) is mulched and/or composted, then applied back on to vineyards and gardens as nutrients.
When composted by-products are applied to vineyard soils it improves moisture retention, keeps weeds down, increases organic matter and reduces temperature variations - resulting in healthier vines.
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
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.