Compostable packaging will replace conventional plastic packaging for foodservice applications. We cannot continue with the current status quo. The compost infrastructure in Australia will eventually meet the obvious demand and in the future when we enjoy a delicious meal served in compostable packaging we will look back and wonder why it took so long to solve such a simple problem.
BioPak would like to set the record straight – compostable packaging isn’t some fanciful idea we dreamed up in isolation to annoy the waste industry, as suggested by a recent article in the Age. It is part of a world-wide movement to reduce waste to landfill.
And contrary to attention grabbing headlines, our BioCups are recyclable in the paper recycling of many councils and compostable at many commercial facilities across Australia.
BioPak are a member of Public Place Recycling Scheme and are on the steering committee of new composting facilities study that surveyed 27 facilities across New Zealand to understand their experiences processing compostable food packaging, including compostable coffee cups. The results are promising! The study recommends clear identification of coffee cups, product innovation and investment in compost facilities.
The War on Waste TV series highlighted how few coffee cups are currently being recycled in Australia. There has been a big drive to switch to reusable cups and we applaud the initiative. It’s always best to reuse whenever possible.
Single use disposables do have a place and banning them is not a solution. An industry adoption of better design principles that consider the entire environmental and social impact of a product throughout its lifecycle is the answer.
A BioCup is produced from sustainably sourced paper – for every tree consumed another is planted! It is coated with a plant-based waterproof material which has a carbon footprint up to 70% lower than regular plastic used to coat most other paper cups. At BioPak we measure and completely offset all carbon emissions at each stage of the life cycle of our products from raw materials, production, distribution and disposal. And BioCup’s can be recycled and composted.
Composting is the natural, biological decomposition of organic matter by fungi, bacteria, insects, worms and other organisms to produce a nutrient rich humus or compost. Successful composting entails the management of the decomposition process so that it is relatively quick, safe and clean. Composting organic food and packaging offers an opportunity to divert tonnes of waste from landfill – returning valuable nutrients back into the soil and eliminating the methane gas that organics emit when they biodegrade in landfill.
We are pleased to be part of the Australian Packaging Covenant's Polymer Coated Paperboard Working Group (PCPBWG) to address the lack of recycling facilities and together with all relevant industry players work towards finding a solution.
Packaging materials can be a confusing landscape to navigate, with various claims and technical terms. One should always be on the lookout for unscrupulous marketing. The most common type of misleading marketing is for plastic products labelled as ‘degradable’, ‘biodegradable’ or even ‘landfill degradable’. Unlike bioplastics, degradable plastics are conventional plastics derived from fossil resources with an additive that the manufacturers claim will render the product biodegradable under specific conditions.