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CITC has played a leading role in guiding the Cook Islands community in environmental protection.

CITC has played a leading role in the introduction of phosphate-free laundry powders, bio-degradable shopping bags, energy-efficient household appliances and lighting and solar hot-water systems.

CITC supports the Governement’s renewable energy goals and to date has installed 288kw PV solar panels for the production of electricity for its own use.

CITC compacts and bales cardboard and plastic from its own activities and also on behalf of other businesses in the Cook Islands for export to New Zealand for recycling.

CITC has worked with Te Aponga Uira (the electricity utility) and the Asian Development Bank to replace all incandescent light bulbs in the Outer Islands with energy-efficient light bulbs.  CITC has upgraded all its own stores’ lighting systems with energy-efficient systems.  CITC installed a light bulb crusher in 2013 to assist with the disposal of waste.

CITC has also worked with the Asian Development Bank on a programme to upgrade household to upgrade household appliances to more energy-efficient ones and to remove the old ones.

Some of the initiatives CITC has undertaken are:



Partnered with other organisations and Government to remove E-Waste in 2010.

Worked in partnership with ADB to upgrade appliances and remove the old ones.

Providing recycle stations to the schools in order to promote proper recycling.

Ensuring that we as a company are appropriately disposing of our waste.

Cardboard & Plastics

Compact and export cardboard and plastics back to New Zealand. In 2015 we saw 11 containers of cardboard and plastic exported.

We provide a service to our customers to collect all cardboard and plastic and deliver these to the Recycle Centre for compacting and exporting.

Light Bulbs

Replaced all of CITC stores lighting systems to more energy efficient systems.

Worked with Te Aponga and ADB to replace all incandescent light bulbs in the outer islands with energy efficient light bulbs.

Imported a lightbulb crusher in 2013


Ensuring that all our divisions recycle by using properly labeled recycle bins

Every event we sponsor we ensure that the message of recycling is part of the criteria of our sponsorship.

Assisting with on-going Education and Public Awareness such as Lagoon Day and Clean up the World initiatives.

Working alongside the National Environment Service, Recycle Cook Islands and Te Ipukarea Society on environmental issues.

Plastic bags can create environmental problems both for our Island and in our Ocean.

CITC has join with various organizations to support projects that will help protect our island.

CITC charges 20 centers for each plastic bag to fund these projects.

CITC encourages the use of reusable bags, paper bags or cardboard boxes for shopping, let the checkout operator know if you would like these instead of plastic bags.

We appreciate your understanding and co-operation in protecting our Island.

CITC is Leading the way in the fight against Plastic Bags

As a further step in fighting the ongoing battle against plastic bags ending up in our landfill, CITC will be raising the price of its plastic shopping bags to 20 cents on Clean up the World day, Friday, September 18th 2015.  This pricing will take place across all CITC outlets.

CITC began charging 10 cents for each plastic bag last year in the Food outlets on Lagoon Day in July of 2014 with all proceeds being put towards the fund that has provided new recycle stations to all schools on Rarotonga.  The new fee of 20 cents will also be put towards environmental projects such as e-waste management, additional recycle stations and many others.

CITC encourages shoppers to bring reusable bags with them when shopping and also offers cardboard boxes to assist in the reduction of plastic bags.

Please help reduce the use of plastic bags and bring your own shopping bags with you.


citc reuseable bag
CITC reuseable bag $3

Bio-Degradable Products

Providing alternative environmentally friendly products such as bio-degradable take away containers, phosphate free soaps, eco- friendly cleaning products, and other safe and eco- friendly products.

Biodegradable plates a pleasant surprise

citc recycleSometimes life can drag you down and despite all your best efforts to stay positive and hopeful, you can become sceptical that things can and will change for the better and that when a person or business promises better environmental practices that they will actually follow through.

When my children studied sustainable waste management at school and came home to tell me the supermarkets were going to outlaw plastic bags by 20-something and choose to only import environmentally friendly disposable plates and cups, I admit I was hopeful but sceptical. So I replied, “we’ll see”.

I am over the moon to announce that I am no longer sceptical because the change is here. I have noticed for the past two to three weeks that “bio cups and plates” made from 70 per cent starch are displayed right at the front of the CITC supermarket where the wine used to be.

I have been doing some research online to find out what these cups and plates are made of and I am not sure if I found the exact info on the bio plates made in China, but I did find some fascinating insights to a whole new and growing industry involved in creating and supplying fully biodegradable and compostable disposable plates and cups.

Bio plates are made from areca leaves and were originally made in India. From a completely free and discarded natural waste the fallen palm leaf is gathered, washed in spring water, then heat-pressed into shape which also sterilises the leaf. No chemicals, waxes, dyes or additives are used!

Plates from sugar cane leaves, corn starch and potato starch are all now being made.  The potato plate is amazing, Potatoes, on their journey from spud farm to dinner plate, are blasted with water – washed, scrubbed then, at 120 kilometres an hour, pushed through a tube fitted with a set of knives to cut wedges, chippies or chips.

The water, then full of starch from the cut surfaces, is processed through a starch extractor. What comes out is potato starch, a valuable by-product, (used to make plates here) after being filtered it leaves another valuable resource, clean, re-usable water.

They take waste and use it to create something that alleviates waste! Unlike the manufacturing process used to create plastics and polystyrene, the patented potato manufacturing processes emits no noxious fumes to the atmosphere or toxic liquid waste. Trees are important because they use up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce oxygen that we need to breathe.

Did you know that A 25g potato plate sequesters (takes away) the amount of carbon dioxide contained in about 110 square metres of the earth’s atmosphere?

Many earth-conscious companies I read up on said that nature is amazing and the answers to the waste we have created can be found in nature if we start to look with the mind set of not just reducing our waste but not creating waste in the first place.

There are exciting times ahead as \leading companies like CITC create positive change in our communities, not only with their colourful recycling bins but also now with their eco-friendly disposable plates and cups.

Nice one, CITC.

Ruth Horton