The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) welcomes the recent debate and discussions over more States banning single use plastic bags as well as the recent Government Meeting to investigate a national ban on plastic bags. What about the discussion on certified compostable bags?

Certified compostable bags are biodegradable and the best solution for the source separation of food and garden organics. Notwithstanding biodegradable is not always compostable.
It is critical that compostable plastics carry the Australian Standards certification to define the product will biodegrade in a commercial composting operation. AORA’s stated national policy is to ban all single use non compostable plastic bags of all gauges (see full policy below).

With the implementation of a ban, Organic Recyclers and composters acknowledge the need to continue to provide the community with a convenient means of containing kitchen waste etc. Certified compostable bags meet this need and must be exempt from any ban on single use plastic bags (Polyethylene/conventional plastics).

“It’s great to see Tasmania started this trend and then other jurisdictions like South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory have followed. Now it’s time for other States to follow the smaller jurisdictions and ban single use plastic bags whilst ensuring that certified compostable bags are exempt from the ban.” Said Paul Coffey, Chairman of AORA.

“It’s important that everyone understands the differences between products claimed as degradable, oxo-degradable, biodegradable and certified compostable. They simply aren’t the same thing and unless they are Australian Standards certified compostable then they are not considered suitable for use in organics recycling.” Said Peter McLean, Executive Officer at AORA.

Governments around Australia should be commended on their commitment to address the impact of plastic bags on our environment. AORA will continue to work with all governments across Australia to help formulate policies that deliver the best outcomes for the environment, community and government.

The Australian Organics Recycling Association’s full policy on plastic bags is as follows:
“AORA supports the ban on all single use non compostable plastics, including plastic bags of all gauges, agricultural films and packaging which cannot be reused, recovered or recycled in any way. The use of compostable bags and plastics which meet the requirements of AS4736 and AS5810 as verified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association allows for more effective source separation and organic resource processing.”
The applicable Australian Standards for compostable bags are AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010.
The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) was established in 2012 and works on behalf of its members including processors, associate industries, educators and all levels of Government to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling organic resources. It aims to act as an advocate for the wider organics resource recovery and beneficial reuse industries and to represent their views in a constructive dialogue with policy makers. AORA envisages an industry in which best practice is shared, standards are maintained and surpassed, and which makes a positive contribution to safeguarding the environment. To become a member or to learn more, please visit www.aora.org.au To learn more about the benefits of organics recycling, please visit www.compostforsoils.com.au

According to a new report by Allied Market Research, titled, “World Bioplastics Market Opportunities and Forecast, 2014-2020″, the global market for bioplastics would reach $30.8 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 14.8% during 2015-2020. The rising environmental awareness among the consumers and substantial curiosity of packaging industries towards biodegradability are the key factors responsible for the increasing adoption of bioplastics in rigid packaging applications. The rigid plastic application would account for more than 40% of the market revenue by 2020.

Bioplastics are plastics derived from the renewable feedstocks such as corn, sugarcane and cellulose among others. Large availability of renewable feedstocks and eco-friendly nature of bioplastics boost its market across the globe. Furthermore, increasing adoption in new end user industries and favorable government policies for the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable products are some of the key factors that would drive the market growth. On the other hand, high production cost is likely to dampen the market growth during the forecast period.

The consumption of “drop-ins” bioplastics (Bio-PE, Bio-PET 30, Bio-PA and others) would continue to dominate the overall bioplastics market through to 2020, owing to its overall properties and wide applications similar to traditional plastics (PE, PET and PA among others). Bio-PET 30 would be the fastest growing segment in the non-biodegradable bioplastics market, as it delivers same performance as synthetic PET with regards to re-sealability, versatility, durability, appearance, weight and recyclability.

Key findings of the study

  • Rigid plastics would be the fastest growing application segment, at a CAGR of 31.8%, during the forecast period
  • Europe was the highest consumer, whereas, Asia Pacific was the largest producer of bioplastics in 2014. Asia Pacific would be the fastest growing consumer during the forecast period.
  • Bio-PET 30 segment is expected to have healthy volume growth, at 25.7% CAGR, during the forecast period.
  • Polyesters and starch blends segment collectively accounted for about one-third of the overall biodegradable bioplastic market in 2014.
  • PLA is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the overall biodegradable plastics market, in terms of revenue and volume.

North America and Europe collectively accounted for more than 60% of the market, in 2014 and are expected to maintain their lead throughout the forecast period. European policy support for bioplastic manufacturers and increasing health awareness among consumers are the key factors responsible for the market growth within this region. However, Asia Pacific is projected to be the most lucrative market owing to availability of huge renewable feedstocks coupled with increasing investment made by the global bioplastics players.

The leading players in the market are adopting collaboration, partnership and expansion as the key developmental strategies. The prominent players profiled in this report include Novamont SPA, Metabolix Inc., BASF SE, Natureworks LLC, Corbion Purac, Braskem, Cardia Bioplastics, Biome Technolgies Plc, FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and Innovia Films.