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How Long Does It Take For Certified Compostable Products Take To Compost?

AORA Demonstration Day Proves ABA Certified Compostable Materials Meet Australian Composting Requirements.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) and its Members participated at the 2018 Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual Conference Demonstration Day Held in Brisbane by putting certified compostable bags and food service ware to the test.

Participating ABA members supplied their certified compostable bags and food service ware with the AORA team to establish time required for items to compost under AORA established conditions. ABA member certified compostable bags and food service ware were buried in an open windrow. Windrow composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter in long rows (windrows).

The AORA team built a windrow of composting FOGO (Food Organics Green Organics) consisting mostly of green waste removed from normal processes at around two weeks from establishment and at around seven weeks prior to the demonstration. Once built, the windrow was not turned again.

The certified compostable items supplied by ABA members were buried in the windrow and staked out at 6/4/2/1 weeks to test decomposition time. At 6/4/2/1 weeks and around 10 days prior to the demonstration the AORA team placed fresh food waste (lettuce and other green leaves) in ABA member certified compostable plastic bags and placed them and some ABA member certified compostable plates, Take-out containers, Clear cups, Paper Coffee Cups and cup lids into holes dug to a depth of around 400-600mm in the windrows. These were re-buried and marked with stakes. The windrow was not otherwise touched. The windrows were temperature tested weekly at 62-65C.

                              

On the AORA Demonstration Day in front of AORA Conference attendees, the AORA team dug up the areas marked with the stakes to check the certified compostable materials state of decomposition. At none of the marked stakes were AORA able to find any evidence of the buried material.

The results, of the decomposition trial of ABA member supplied certified compostable material, were conclusive that all the materials buried during the trial period were composted. The rate of decomposition particularly from items buried at the 1/2/4 week stakes demonstrated the speed of decomposition of certified compostable items. Further investigation, by the AORA team, using a Komptech turner and trommels to ensure nothing was missed, again confirmed that all ABA member supplied certified compostable items had composted.

On completion of the test, ABA Executive Warwick Hall and ABA Committee Member Rivka Garson spoke to AORA members on the stringent process that compostable products need to go through to achieve certification and have the ability to carry the seedling or home compostability logo. Hall and Garson, also spoke on the importance of ensuring that only certified compostable bags and products are used for in composting processes and how to easily identify these items, through the seedling logo and home compostability logo as well as the identifying number supplied to each ABA members products. Without the logos and identifying numbers, material is not considered certified compostable.

Martin Tower, Executive Director AORA stated, “I have to say I was amazed (and a bit embarrassed) that we could find no evidence of anything we buried. I was paying particular attention when the Komptech turner went through the pile to see if we had missed anything but again I saw nothing then or subsequently before the trommels got to work on the windrow. This conclusively proves that Australasian Bioplastics Members supplied certified compostable bags and food service ware decompose under AORA specified conditions.”

About the AORA Annual Conference

The AORA Annual Conference is well established as the principal conference in Australia for the recycled organics industry. Each conference is a forum for education, discussion and networking related to Organics Recycling. It is also an opportunity to celebrate outstanding achievements in the industry. www.aoraconference.com.au

 

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Australasian Bioplastics Association Applauds Federal Government’s Commitment To 100% Recyclable, Compostable Or Reusable Australian Packaging By 2025

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) welcomes and applauds the announcement from Federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that by 2025, 100 per cent of Australian packaging to be recyclable, compostable or reusable.

Minister Frydenberg has been pushing the plan to ensure packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable, which would eliminate much of household rubbish. Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers have agreed to cut Australia’s supply of waste, increase our recycling capability and increase the demand for recyclable products in response to China’s new restrictions on recyclable waste.

Josh Frydenberg stated, “The solution is to work cooperatively with the states to create new opportunities for Australia to build its domestic capacity to recycle more material; to get governments to procure more recyclable material; to turn more waste into energy; and to look at ensuring that all packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025.”

Ministers have also brought forward the review of Australia’s National Waste Policy to be completed within a year. This will ensure that governments are taking the most appropriate and timely actions to support a sustainable recycling industry. Australia has an opportunity to develop its capabilities and capacity in recycling through effective cooperation and collaboration among the three levels of government.

As the leading industry body for Australian and New Zealand manufacturers, converters and distributors of bioplastic products and materials, the Australasian Bioplastics Association administrators a voluntary verification scheme for compostable bioplastics certification.

Robin Tuckerman, Australasian Bioplastics Association representative states, “The Australasian Bioplastics Association welcomes the announcement by Minister Frydenberg and the recognition that certified compostable bioplastics have a fundamental game changing role in reducing waste going to landfill. Many of our members are leaders in bioplastics, are dedicated to a circular economy and have been developing certified compostable alternatives to conventional plastics for decades.”

Australasian Bioplastics Association members are already a major contributor to local councils FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) waste diversion programs. Recognising that diverting FOGO from landfill has environmental and commercial benefits, many Australian and New Zealand councils have implemented FOGO diversion programs where FOGO is collected in certified compostable bags and sent to commercial composting facility.

Certified compostable bioplastics are made from bio-based material and compost in either industrial compost facilities if certified to Australian Standards 4736-2006 for Industrial Composting or if certified to Australian Standards 5810-2006 for Home Composting. Certification provides compost facilities confidence that compostable bags do not cause contamination. The Australasian Bioplastics Association’s programs are supported by AORA (Australian Organics Recycling Association).

For almost every conventional plastic material and application, there is a bioplastic alternative available on the market that has the same properties and offers additional advantages. With Australia’s largest supermarkets taking robust action to phase out single-use plastic bags and states heading to bans on plastic bags used by retail outlets including reducing plastic wrapping on fruit and vegies, certified compostable bags offer a real alternative. Certified compostable labelling assists consumers, recyclers, composters and councils to clearly identify these products and ensure correct waste separation, collection and recovery.

Rivka Garson, Australasian Bioplastics Association committee member states, “Made from bio- based resins, that compost in industrial facilities within 12 weeks and therefore having a real impact on plastic waste reduction; certified compostable film can be used for an endless list of items including external packaging, produce bags, dog poo bags, agricultural films and many more items. Going forward, the Australasian Bioplastics Association is looking forward to having a very positive effect on Australian waste reduction.”

The 2025, 100 per cent target will be delivered by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, working with its 950 member companies and partners, including the Australasian Bioplastics Association.

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Recycling Crisis: True Goal Is Zero Waste Going To Landfill

Recycling Crisis: True Goal Is Zero Waste Going To Landfill

Article by Richard Fine Founder from BioPak

After years of doing the right thing by separating our garbage so that our glass bottles, newspapers and plastics can be recycled, Victorians are now being told that all that recycling could be, well, a waste of time.

According to the Municipal Association of Victoria, a decision by China to place a ban on the import of recycling materials from outside the country has resulted in several councils having their recycling contracts cut back by waste companies.

The Chinese town of Giuyu used to be a dumping ground for the world’s trash. Now China has banned imports of foreign waste to crack down on its own chronic pollution problem. If this continues, councils will have to stockpile millions of tonnes of waste or worse, dump it all in landfills.

BioPak, which was established in 2006, is the largest manufacturer and distributor of environmentally sustainable disposable food packaging in Australia, which means our products are designed to be repurposed rather than ending up in the local tip.

It also means that we are acutely aware of the seriousness of the situation. Let’s be clear: Australia is facing a potential waste crisis – we are running out of landfills, no matter how many more we build.

Every year, Australians send more than 6.2 million tonnes of organic waste to landfill, which include everything from food scraps to garden clippings and cardboard boxes. In 2016 alone, Australians sent about 2.2 million tonnes of plastic and about 1.6 million tonnes of paper and cardboard to landfill.

The landfill problem is not one limited to Victoria or even Australia – the issue has been troubling policy makers across the world, especially in the United States and Europe. We are well aware of what this means: landfills will eventually fill up, no matter how many we build.

So, what can we do? Well, we need to focus on more than recycling, for starters.

While continuing to encourage more councils to recycle waste, we believe the time has come to find others ways to deal with this huge landfill problem.

In other words, we need to consider alternatives, such as compostable food service packaging, including those ubiquitous coffee cups.

It means we need to start talking about a truly circular economy, where we design and produce food service packaging from environmentally friendly, responsibly sourced rapidly renewable materials, such as paper from managed plantations, agricultural by-products such as the stalks of sugar cane after the sugar has been extracted and compostable bioplastics. Then comes the hard bit: to help guide that compostable packaging and remaining food scraps through the economy, from café or restaurant to workplace to green waste bins.

Eventually, those green waste bins are processed at commercial composting facilities where their contents are turned into nutrient-rich compost for use at home – or in large-scale commercial agriculture and land rehabilitation.

A major benefit of producing compostable, bio-based food packaging is that through commercial composting it can be diverted from landfill along with any remaining food residues at the end of its life.

In the process, the methane gas that organics emit when they biodegrade in landfill is eliminated.

This is not futuristic thinking by any means. The compostable foodservice packaging is widely available and commercial scale compost infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace to address the huge amounts of organic waste that mostly goes to landfill. European countries including France and England have committed to phase out and ban non compostable foodservice packaging within the next decade.

In Britain, where the debate has accelerated in the past year or so, the Ellen MacArthur foundation – a think-tank that works with business, government and academia to build a framework for a circular economy – recently released a report looking into compostable packaging.

After three years of investigation, the interim report concluded that compostable packaging provides the only genuine solution to ensure food service packaging, including coffee cups, is diverted from landfill.

Here in Australia, BioPak recently signed an agreement with one of the big four banks, which has converted all employee food service outlets in their head office building to collect compostable food packaging. And we have launched a national program to encourage cafes and other venues to put our compostable cups and packaging into special bins, which will be collected and recycled into compost.

BioPak is committed to doing the right thing, designing, making and distributing food packaging that is sourced from renewable materials, which means contributing to a sustainable life cycle – rather than packaging that has a single use, before it ends up at the local tip.

In a true circular economy, our ultimate objective is zero material going to landfill.

It’s an ambitious goal but one that we believe is achievable. All we need if for our politicians and business leaders to start paying attention, not just in Victoria but nationally.

Richard Fine is the founder of BioPak. With additional input from Gary Smith, who is BioPak’s chief executive officer.

 

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Big Brands Embracing Bioplastics

Big Brands Embracing Bioplastics

We all love the convenience of easy to buy, easy to use products that fill our supermarkets. Convenience means packaging and that means that there are no escaping plastics in our life. Packaging is the single biggest application of plastic globally with most packaging being disposable, single-use items.  Unfortunately, even though recycling exists in many countries, only 2% of recycling globally is turned into new packaging. In addition, with 8 million tonnes of the material enter the ocean each year something has to change.

There are now positive signs that both governments and industry are moving towards a circular economy, where the end use of plastics and packaging is considered from the outset. It looks like bioplastics are no longer just of interest to sustainability focused consumers, big brands have started taking note of bioplastics advantages.

Forward thinking big brands are taking a lead and are calling for the consumer goods industry to step-up its efforts to tackle the mounting challenge of ocean plastic waste and create a circular economy for plastics.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced at the World Economic Forum on January 22nd 2018 a list of 11 big brands working towards using 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. Big names including Amcor, Ecover, evian, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz, have chosen to lead the way for other brand-owners, retailers and plastics processors to make the consumables market more sustainable. Considering they represent over six million tonnes of plastic packaging annually, these companies can create real impact.

With an ever-growing number of big brands turning to bioplastic solutions, the market penetration is well on its way. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, Puma, Samsung, IKEA, Tetra Pak, Heinz, Stella McCartney, Gucci and retail leader Iceland UK have already introduced first large scale products in Europe.

There are also other well-known names committing to change, for example, Lego allocated one billion kroner (AUS$162.8 million) to research more sustainable materials. In the automotive market, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes have introduced various bioplastic components in several car models and electronics giant Fujitsu already uses bioplastics in some of its products.

Although the impact of all of these big brands making changes will not be immediate, they will start resonating through their supply chain with suppliers and manufacturers needing to look at viable functional alternatives including plant based compostable bioplastics . The next few years will be an exciting time for the bioplastic market and for consumers. Consumers will be able to make informed decisions and choose products and packaging that have a positive impact.

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What Do Consumers Think Of Bio-Based Food Packaging?

What Do Consumers Think Of Bio-Based Food Packaging?

Companies in the food sector are looking for alternatives to regular plastic packaging to reduce their CO2 footprint, but can manufacturers and retailers strengthen the brand position of their food products by choosing bio-based food packaging?

For food safety reasons, recycled food packaging, with some exceptions, is not suitable to be reused as food packaging. This is why packaging made from renewable raw materials is the only sustainable option for the vast majority of food products. “

Research in the Netherlands is studying the perceptions of bio-based packaging among consumers and aims to give manufacturers and retailers advise on making well-founded, sustainable packaging choices. Within the COMBO public-private partnership, Wageningen University and Research is helping brand owners in the food segment make well-founded, sustainable packaging choices.

Karin Molenveld and Koen Meesters, scientist at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, found that many manufacturers and retailers choose drop-in bio-based packaging, which is chemically identical to the traditional packaging but made from renewable raw materials instead of petroleum.

This transition to bio-based has to be made carefully,” says Molenveld, “First, the new packaging must have the right functional properties. But we also need to know how consumers respond to the new packaging and how consumer opinion reflects on the brand.”

Different Is Good

Molenveld stated, “Consumers immediately notice the difference between bio-based packaging with a totally different material composition from the regular packaging. The packaging may have a different appearance or the bio-based plastic feels and sounds differently than what they are used to. Consumers experience this as positive. But a ‘fossil’ PET bottle cannot be distinguished from a bottle made from vegetable sugars, so, if you choose to use a drop in bio-based packaging, you need to clearly communicate and let the consumer know that (even though it looks exactly the same), the new material is beneficial to the environment.”

Clear Communication Vital

 Meesters states, “As a manufacturer or retailer you have to be careful about the claims you make. You can’t just say your packaging is CO2 neutral. As it is almost impossible to prove, you run the risk of having to withdraw the claim and damaging your reputation. In other words: make sure the claim is correct. For example, a claim like ‘this packaging is made from plants’ cannot be contradicted. Moreover, consumers like to know what to do with the packaging after use, which is why claims about recycling and composting are included in the research.”

Consumers are positive about  ‘compostable’ and ‘recyclable’

Consumers need and want to know what to do with the packaging after use. Clear and correct claims about the recyclability of the packaging as well as recommendations for a correct disposal should always be included on the packaging. Machiel Reinders, scientist at Wageningen Economic Research, confirms that consumers are positive about claims on bio-based packaging such as ‘compostable’ and ‘recyclable’, which clearly indicate how to dispose of the packaging product. “Our research shows that consumers prefer clear claims. Stating that products can be discarded with the organic waste is a good example. The more concrete the sustainability benefits, the better the packaging is evaluated.”

In Australia bio-based drop-in plastics can be disposed and recycled together with their conventional counterparts. Compostable packaging, that is certified to Australian standard AS 4736–2006 is designed to be treated in industrial composting plants and compostable packaging that is certified to Australian standard AS 5810-2010 can be home composted.

https://www.wur.nl/en/article/Biobased-food-packaging-through-the-eyes-of-the-consumer.htm?wmstepid=mail_de_auteur

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AORA and ABA Release Joint Position Paper on Certified Compostable Bioplastics

The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) and the Australian Bioplastics Association (ABA) have published a joint position paper on Certified Compostable Bioplastics.

AORA  supports the use of compostable bags and plastics which meet the requirements of AS 4736 and AS 5810 as verified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association allows for safe, effective source separation acceptable for organic resource processing/recycling. Conventional plastics such as polyethylene are not certified compostable and are not biodegradable in any context. Varieties of polyethylene containing additives, such as those called oxo-degradable or oxo-biodegradable are not certified compostable and are not suitable for normal organic processing/recycling operations as they are not biodegradable.

See Joint Position Paper here

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Over 150 Organisations Worldwide Back Ellen MacArthur Call To Ban Oxo-Degradable Plastic Packaging

 

Organisations worldwide including the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) endorse a new statement by the Ellen McArthur Foundation that proposes banning oxo-degradable plastic packaging worldwide.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has published a statement calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastic packaging and bags. Signatories include leading businesses, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials. They include M&S, PepsiCo, Unilever, Veolia, British Plastics Federation, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, Packaging South Africa, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, ten Members of the European Parliament and the Australasian Bioplastics Association.

In total, over 150 organisations, including leading businesses representing every step of the plastics supply chain, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials have endorsed the statement calling for global action to avoid widescale environmental risk.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, including carrier bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution, with claims that such plastics degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, as outlined in a new statement by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, significant evidence indicates that oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead fragment into tiny pieces of plastic and contribute to microplastic pollution, posing a risk to the ocean and other ecosystems, potentially for decades to come.

“The available evidence overwhelmingly suggests oxo-degradable plastics do not achieve what their producers claim and instead contribute to microplastic pollution. In addition, these materials are not suited for effective long-term reuse, recycling at scale or composting, meaning they cannot be part of a circular economy.” – Rob Opsomer, Lead for Systemic

“Using oxo-degradable additives is not a solution for litter. Their use in waste management systems will likely cause negative outcomes for the environment and communities,” said Erin Simon, Director of Sustainability Research and Development, World Wildlife Fund. “When public policy supports the cascading use of materials – systems where materials get reused over and over, this strengthens economies and drives the development of smarter materials management systems. This leads to wins for both the environment and society.”

As a result of the significant body of evidence raising concerns about the potential negative impacts of plastic fragments from oxo-degradable plastics, an increasing number of companies and governments have started to take action to restrict their use, in particular in Europe. For example, in the UK retailers such as Tesco and the Co-operative stopped the use of oxo-degradable plastics in their carrier bags. France banned the use of oxo-degradable plastics altogether in 2015.

However, oxo-degradable plastics are still produced in many European countries, including the UK, and marketed across the world as safely biodegradable. Several countries in the Middle-East and Africa, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, areas of Pakistan, Yemen, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana and Togo, are still promoting the use of oxo-degradable plastics or have even made their use mandatory.

To create a plastics system that works, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, together with the signing organisations, supports innovation that designs out waste and pollution, and keeps products and materials in high-value use in line with the principles of a circular economy.

Note: Oxo-degradable plastics should not be confused with compostable plastics that comply with international standards and can be safely biodegraded through (industrial) composting.

 THE ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was created in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation works across five areas: insight and analysis, business and government, education and training, systemic initiatives, and communication.

With its Knowledge Partners (Arup, IDEO, McKinsey & Co., and SYSTEMIQ), and supported by Core Philanthropic Funder (SUN), the Foundation works to quantify the economic opportunity of a more circular model and to develop approaches for capturing its value. The Foundation collaborates with its Global Partners (Danone, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, NIKE, Inc., Philips, Renault, Unilever), and its CE100 network (businesses, universities, emerging innovators, governments, cities, and affiliate organisations), to build capacity, explore collaboration opportunities and to develop circular business initiatives.

The Foundation has created global teaching, learning and training platforms on the circular economy, encompassing work with leading universities, schools and colleges, and online events such as the Disruptive Innovation Festival. By establishing platforms such as the New Plastics Economy initiative, the Foundation works to transform key material flows, applying a global, cross-sectoral, cross value chain approach that aims to effect systems change.

The Foundation promotes the idea of a circular economy via research reports, case studies and books series, using multiple channels, web and social media platforms, including circulatenews.org which provides a leading online source for circular economy news and insight.

Further information: ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy

 THE NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY

The New Plastics Economy is an ambitious, three-year initiative to build momentum towards a plastics system that works. Applying the principles of the circular economy, it brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens.

The initiative is supported by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner, MAVA Foundation, Oak Foundation, and players of People’s Postcode Lottery (GB) as Philanthropic Funders. Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Veolia are the initiative’s Core Partners.

Learn more at www.newplasticseconomy.org | @NewPlasticsEcon

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Albury City Council recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO service

Albury City Council was recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO service for residents in Albury and neighbouring councils at the NSW Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual awards ceremony on Friday 10 November.

Winners in the ‘Outstanding Local Government Initiative in Organics Collection/Processing or Marketing’ category the Halve Waste Councils (Albury, Wodonga, Towong, Greater Hume, Federation and Indigo) thoroughly deserved the recognition.

The goal of Halve Waste is to reduce the waste to landfill by 50% by 2020.

In 2015 the Halve Waste Councils committed to delivering a food and garden organics collection service for residents.  This has resulted in a 90% take up with 50,000 households from four Shires participating. 22,000 in Albury, 17,000 in Wodonga, 5,000 in Indigo and 5,000 in Federation Council.

The community has really rallied behind the organics service. In fact, the group of Councils has produced the highest quality compost with the lowest levels of contamination in the State. So far, the contamination rate has been less than 1% overall!

Andrea Baldwin manages the Halve Waste Initiative on behalf of the Councils. Andrea was recognised at the awards as the ‘best’ waste manager driving organics collection and recovery.

To date (November 2017) and since its introduction in 2015, the service has generated over 54,000 tonnes of food and garden organics, all of which is being recycled into much needed compost for farms.

Mike Ritchie from MRA Consulting Group accepted the award on behalf of AlburyCity and said “If any council was looking for a model for implementing a food and garden organics collection service and engaging the community – Halve Waste is the answer. The Halve Waste Councils are to be congratulated for their initiative and achievement in halving the waste to landfill in the region.”

The Halve Waste Councils are to be congratulated for their initiative and achievement in halving the waste to landfill in the region.

The award was presented by Annie Kavanagh on behalf of the NSW EPA. The NSW EPA has supported the implementation of FOGO collection through the Waste Less Recycle More funding program.

For more information, visit the Halve Waste website halvewaste.com.au or email education@halvewaste.com.au.

For further detail on the Halve Waste councils’ successes in best practice waste management and resource diversion, refer to this short video.

Republished from MRA Consulting Group  MRA Consulting Group is assisting in the delivery of the Halve Waste project.

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NZ Packaging Forum Releases Study Of Compostable Food Packaging & Coffee Cups In Composting Facilities

The NZ Packaging Forum Public Place Recycling Scheme has released the findings of a detailed survey of 27 composting facilities across New Zealand to understand their experiences with processing compostable food packaging including compostable coffee cups.

Eleven facilities have agreed to be listed as accepting compostable food packaging with a further two unnamed facilities able to do so. Seven facilities are piloting processing systems or developing the capability to accept compostable cups and other compostable packaging waste. Coverage varies with North Island facilities identified in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, New Plymouth, Hawkes Bay and Wellington and South Island facilities in Tasman and Kaikoura.

Lyn Mayes, Manager of the Packaging Forum’s Public Place Recycling Scheme which commissioned the research said: “Around 295 million hot and cold cups are consumed annually in New Zealand with over 90% of coffee cup brands are either manufactured or sold by our members.  The industry has seen a significant growth in the volume of compostable cups and with this confusion as to whether, where and how they can be composted.

“We commissioned Beyond the Bin to assess the range of cups on the market; survey facilities about whether they can process compostable cups; identify the barriers and make recommendations as to how these can be resolved. Based on the information supplied by our members, the compostable coffee cups in the New Zealand market have similar specifications and are typically certified to the EN13432 (Commercial compost European standard).”

Kim Renshaw, Director Beyond the Bin said: “The composting industry has some will and/ or capacity to process food packaging including coffee cups and in most cases, their C-PLA lids. The barriers they face to process compostable food packaging in their existing operations are varied and significant. Contamination, lack of identification, length of processing time, volume vs weight and organic input restrictions affect a composter’s will and capacity.”

“The Packaging Forum with its members can help solve these issues by creating an identification and standard for cups and innovating product design to reduce the length of processing time. Contamination, volume vs weight and organic input restrictions are process/ regulation related which require a combined effort from waste producers, service providers, regulatory bodies and packaging companies.”

“Many composting facilities have special relationships with credible waste producers, those who contaminate their waste and provide a clean waste stream which means a facility might take compostable food packaging from one customer, service provider or event who agree to use composter approved packaging and are employing decontamination techniques.”

Mayes said that the study provides a pathway:

“We have already initiated a change to our funding criteria for events this year requiring applicants to provide evidence they will separate packaging waste either during the event or through post event sortation. Our members are working with community composting service providers such as Home Grown Waiheke Trust to provide local solutions and we see an opportunity to support standalone compost units as an option for small scale local solutions. And it is particularly exciting that product innovation is taking place with members looking at the development of new products capable of home composting.”

“Work is underway to develop an agreed identification system for coffee cups which will clearly identify them as compostable or recyclable where facilities exist and a process for its use.  We have started discussion with the Waste Management Institute New Zealand (WasteMINZ) about an identification standard to ensure consistency and increase the likelihood of acceptance.”

Paul Evans, Chief Executive of WasteMINZ said “We commend industry for undertaking this research. For any solution to be effective in the long term there needs to be real collaboration between packaging manufacturers and the composting industry, recognising the potential impacts on compost products. We look forward to working positively with the Packaging Forum to determine an appropriate composting standard and identification system, which meets the needs of all parties”.

The Public Place Recycling Scheme is an industry funded initiative which is owned and managed by the Packaging Forum. Over 40 of New Zealand’s leading companies support the Scheme paying levies which are used to buy recycling and litter bins and to help fund recycling and composting at events and venues around the country.

Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) Member BioPak, is also a member of Public Place Recycling Scheme and is on the steering committee of the composting facilities study.

The full report is available on: http://recycling.kiwi.nz/

Originally posted by NZ Public Place Recycling Scheme’s website

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BioCup Art Series To Raise Money For Rainforest Rescue

BioCup Art Series has teamed up with Rainforest Rescue and Great Barrier Reef Legacy to bring you the #rainforest2reef Art Series. The series features 17 artists whose work celebrates and raises awareness on the importance of protecting the ancient and biodiverse Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. Each story will be revealed at: rainforest2reef.org.au which will go live on the 14th September.

All BioCups are lined with Ingeo™ bioplastic and made with sustainably sourced paper from managed plantations. Ingeo™ bioplastic is made from plants, not oil and it emits 75% less CO2 emissions compared to conventional plastic.

The cups will be printed in sets of three: a rainforest, reef and an image which connects the two areas. Each image tells a tale about an area or an animal or event such as a flood.

All artists all have a strong connection to Daintree and/or Great Barrier Reef. Indigenous artist Karen Shuan is an influential member of the local community and her work Jalungkarr represents the importance of flooding to the area “All the elders are singing for the rain to make the flash flood come.”

BioPak are proud to support and promote the arts community with the BioCup Art Series. Every three months we will print artwork from Australian and New Zealand artists on our 8oz, 12oz and 16oz single wall and double wall BioCups. BioPak’s curator Kate Armstrong seeks out artists who explore environmental themes at the core of their practice. Delight and engage your coffee customers with this changing series that looks at sustainability issues from what is involved in building a house, to the beauty of Australian bush flowers or the urban environment.

“We’re honoured to be working with such a diverse range of artists who can help tell the story of these special places and why they need protecting,” says Rainforest Rescue CEO, Julian Gray.

#rainforest2reef BioCup Art Cups will be on sale from 10th September 2017 to 15th January 2018. Use hashtag #rainforest2reef on images of your cups and BioPak will donate $1 for every post till 15th January 2018*.

Originally posted by  Rainforest Rescue.