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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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New Report Says Bioplastics Will Outpace The Economy As A Whole

A Plastics Market Watch report released 10 May, entitled Watching: Bioplastics – the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) reports bioplastics are in a growth cycle stage and will outpace the economy as a whole. New investments and entrants in the sector and new products and manufacturing technologies are projected to make bioplastics more competitive and dynamic.

The report finds growing interest in bioplastics, but also a continued need for education. According to a survey PLASTICS conducted of U.S. consumers in January 2018, more consumers are “familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with bioplastics compared to a survey conducted just two years ago; 32 percent of consumers are familiar with bioplastics in 2018 compared to only 27 percent in 2016. The PLASTICS survey also indicated 64 percent of consumers would prefer to buy a product made with bioplastics – and expect to see bioplastics in disposable plastic tableware, plastic bags, food and cosmetic packaging, and toys.

As bioplastics product applications continue to expand, the growth dynamics of the industry will continue to shift. Looking at industry studies on market segmentation, packaging is the largest segment of the market at 37 percent followed by bottles at 32 percent. Growth opportunities in bioplastics manufacturing are expected to continue from the demand and supply side. While in the past growth in bioplastics was primarily driven by higher petrol-based polymers, changes in consumer behavior will be a significant factor for higher demand of bioplastics.

“Changes in U.S. tax policy, particularly the full expensing of capital expenditure, should support research and development in bioplastics. The overall low cost of energy in the U.S. complements nicely with research and development activities and manufacturing, which generates a stable supply of innovative bioplastic products,” said Perc Pineda, PhD, chief economist at PLASTICS.

The research and partnerships with bioplastics is exemplified by the efforts to develop a 100 percent biobased PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottle. Most PET bottles currently have approximately 30 percent biobased material, but a number of companies and collaborations are working to develop and launch, at commercial scale, a PET plastic bottle made from 100 percent biobased material.

Despite the industry’s embrace of bioplastics and their expanding presence in a wide range of products, PLASTICS’ Pineda noted, “A high percentage of surveyed respondents believe they have not seen or used a product made from bioplastic — either biobased or biodegradable. Continuing to educate consumers on bioplastics would go a long way.”

The report is available for download to members and non-members. First published in bioplastics Magazine

http://www.plasticsindustry.org. 

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China’s Waste Ban May Just Be An Opportunity

China’s Waste Ban May Just Be An Opportunity

From March 1, China is no longer importing certain “foreign garbage” from countries including Australia and New Zealand. China has been the world’s largest importer and recycler of plastic, paper and scrap metal, a decision that has wide-reaching impacts.

Up to now China has imported recyclable materials, taking in more than 30 million metric tonnes of waste from all over the world, including from the US, EU, Japan, and Australia. Unfortunately much of what arrived in China was dirty or contaminated or mixed. Included in the ban are 24 types of solid waste, any rubbish that is imported in the future needs to be processed and uncontaminated. China’s ban on foreign plastics is as a result of a combination of the government taking a harder line on pollution, with environmental controls getting stricter as well as the influx of contaminated waste landing on its shores.

In Australia 619,000 tonnes of materials worth $523 million and in New Zealand $21 million of waste a year is expected to be impacted by the Chinese ban. With much of the discussion and articles being in regards to what to do with the mountains of waste that will start building in globally, the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) believes that the ban can lead to some fundamental changes in the reduction and treatment of waste. Change can lead to immobilisation or to innovation.

 Interim Solutions

At an Australian state level, the Victorian Government for example is assisting local councils affected by China’s ban with $13 million to help them manage their rubbish. But they will be on their own from July 1. Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the money would give councils, and their contractors, time to develop solutions and renegotiate contracts. The Victoria State Government also announced a taskforce would be established to help the industry adapt to the new landscape which doesn’t include sending rubbish to China.

Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) said industry had signalled to government for a long time that relying on the export markets for recyclables was dangerous and now it find itself, with the change in China’s legislation, walking towards this inevitability.

 Doing Things Differently

Generally, recyclers make money if they can get rid of plastics and other recyclable material for more money than it costs to collect yet not all recyclers follow the same model. TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste. TerraCycle takes a different approach, it works directly with companies like L’Oréal, Colgate, Nestle and Unilever to collect and process hard-to-recycle materials. TerraCycle sells the material as plastic pellets or metal alloys to be made into things like plastic garbage bags, frisbees, dog bowls and benches. For this reason, the China ban will not impact its business model as much but the cost will increase. More importantly,  as TerraCycle’s Tom Szaky  states, “We can’t recycle our way to sustainability. We have to think purchase differently. There is the ability for us to affect this whole thing.”

Time to Reduce Waste

China was the world’s dominant importer of plastic waste. A senior EU official stated, he now expected the waste to go to other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam and Malaysia. The question for Australia and New Zealand is whether commencing to send waste to another country is really the long term solution required. First and foremost waste reduction should be at the top of every Australian and New Zealand’s policy makers list.

Governments, introducing sustainable procurement nationally would demonstrate that government are willing to model these behaviours. Sustainable consumption should be the main focus of future legislation, including the reduction of packaging on products that do not actually require packaging. Industry could be legislated to use recycled or compostable plant based content wherever possible, while consumers could be encouraged to choose recycled  or compostable packaging through the introduction of clear labelling disclosing the degree of recycled content or Certified compostability. Governments, local, state and federal are also key drivers in the development of organic recycling industry, shifting valuable waste from landfill and creating a usable product – nutrient-rich compost.

Creating New Industries & New Jobs

The WMAA is looking to potential opportunities.  The WMAA proposes investment in new recycling infrastructure which create construction jobs and economic activity that provides a real boost to local economies. The WMAA also believes that the change to a circular economy will not only bring long term employment, through green-collar manufacturing, but also sustainable economic growth. As an example, with Container Deposit Schemes being introduced nationally and WMAA said the key is that the recycled product made in Australia is re-used by the beverage companies that participate in this scheme.

The WMAA would like to ensure that packagers are using recycled products as an input in all they do but understand that governmental support is imperative. The WMAA wants the Federal Government to assist in establishing a circular economy by helping industry and encouraging consumers.

In South Australian data has shown that an extra 25,000 jobs would be created over five years by recycling and reusing our waste rather than dumping or exporting it.

Sydney-based Re.Group recently invested $8 million to open a new recycling operation at Hume in the ACT and is stepping up its campaign to grow its local customer base. At the Hume facility Re.Group process all the glass that it receives which is made into sand that can be reused locally. This stops new raw material being sourced, as instead of mining a beach or a river bed and getting new sand, a more sustainable product for building all kinds of infrastructure like roads.”

What About Bioplastics?

Bioplastics are not new and the benefits of bioplastics in a circular economy are gaining more attention. With a vast range of products from bags, to phone covers, to plant pots, to dog toys, to food containers  and much more, all being made from bioplastics it demonstrates that bioplastics can replace many things made from conventional plastic.

In Australia, with numerous Councils implement FOGO (Food Organics and Green Organics Recycling), bioplastics especially certified compostable plastics are starting to become more predominant in our communities. Certified Compostable plastics bags are used to capture food waste for recycling at compost facilities or in home composting.

Food services companies are also looking to change. With our busy life styles Australians are predicted to spend US$1,342m delivered / take away food in 2018, this equates to a lot of take-away containers and a lot of single use plastic. Companies such as ABA Members BioPak, Dzolv Products Pty Ltd and Novamont already produce compostable take away food containers, coffee cups and food service ware, which can be sent to industrial compost facilities rather than landfill.

With big names including Amcor, Ecover, evian, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, Werner & Mertz, Procter & Gamble, Puma, Samsung, IKEA, Tetra Pak, Heinz, Stella McCartney, Gucci and retail leader Iceland UK all implementing large scale bioplastics products and packaging solutions overseas, bioplastics is here today and for the future.

 Acting On The Future

China’s change in legislation to not accept certain recyclable materials will create an impact in Australia and New Zealand. The question is, how will legislators and industry in both countries react? For Australia and New Zealand the future is about protecting jobs and ensuring every household and business has confidence to continue recycling whilst reducing our waste and personal footprint. Hopefully it is also about creating a robust circular economy that can benefit both Australia and New Zealand.

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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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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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Sport kicking goals for the environment

Some of the great catalysts of change in the sport and sustainability sectors came together at the #SEASummit 2017, to tackle how the sporting industry can limit its impact on the environment.

Sport instigates passion at the highest level, there is nothing more exciting than watching one of your favourite sporting heroes or your child shoot for a goal, catch a perfect wave or hit a winning shot. We hear the roar of the crowd at large events and watch the sea of people. What most of us don’t think about is the environmental impact of sports and sporting events. Sporting grounds require water and the need to manage waste and energy. Major events have an even bigger challenge with waste, water and energy consumption. Looking at how sports affect the environment and then how to reduce this impact, is the monumental task that the Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) and its members have set themselves.

Held at the iconic MCG, the SEA’s 2nd annual #SEASummit brought together leaders in the sporting world and the sustainability industry to discuss how a collective and collaborative approach can lead to change.

The #SEASummit 2017 attendees read like the who’s who of the Australian sporting world including SEA Members such as the AFL, Basketball Australia, Confederation of Australian Motor Sport , Cricket Australia, FFA, Netball Australia, Surfing Victoria, Tennis Australia (TA), Victoria Racing Club, as well as sporting greats, councils, sustainability industry experts, innovative suppliers as well as media amongst others. All of the participants have one common goal and that is a win for the environment.

Understanding the importance of the role bioplastics can have in minimising waste, Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) members Natureworks, Biopak and Cardia Bioplastics all had guernseys at the #SEASummit 2017. In “Cleaning Up The Materials Conversation”, Gary Smith from BioPak and Doug Kunnemann from Natureworks discussed how shifting to certified compostable plastics can greatly reduce waste created at sporting events ending up in landfill.

Dr Sheila N Nguyen, Executive Director SEA states, “The Sports Environment Alliance is represented by industry leaders who understand that we need to minimise the weight of our imprint on the grass we play on, and to do so, we must be an active part of the circular economy.  Our members and our communities must consider decisions which will #SEAtheChange for the energy, water and materials we have and use.” Sheila continues, “Having the option to use bioplastic products at events ensures that we encourage the creation, use, and management of materials in the best way we can, to authentically engage the no waste world.”

We all know that sport has the power to influence, the SEA want the sport industry tackle environmental health from the grassroots through to the elite level, and encompass everyone who is involved from participants, to fans and venues.

Sport Environmental Alliance, Natureworks, Biopak, Cardia Bioplastics

 

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Growth In Local Governments Implementing Kitchen Food Waste Recycling

With Australian households throwing away 3.1 million tonnes of edible food per year, many local governments are creating change. Over 500 local governments across Australia manage waste on behalf of their local communities by organising waste collection and processing or disposing of food waste.

Having identified a significant amount of food in their waste streams, local governments are taking steps to reduce food waste through a range of programs. Some of these initiatives include information sessions and demonstrations on storing food and composting at home, grants and rebates for households to purchase compost bins and worm farms, and the roll-out of kerbside organic bins to divert food waste from landfill.

As food and garden waste makes up a large portion (up to 61%) of the average household’s current garbage bin waste, many local governments have introduced  food and garden organics bins. By collecting food and garden waste, local governments are diverting kitchen organics from landfill while also giving people a disposal option for garden waste.

To enable clean and easy kitchen food waste collection, many local governments provide residents with a kitchen caddy and certified compostable liners. Kitchen caddy liners are made from certified compostable materials (usually compostable corn-starch) and are verified under Australian Standard AS4736 to compost in commercial composting facilities within 6 weeks.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) and its members have seen a rapid growth in local governments implementing kitchen food waste recycling for their communities. ABA Member, Cardia Bioplastics (subsidiary of SECOS Group) recently won a major contract to supply AS4736 certified compostable bags to Penrith City Council in NSW.

City of Penrith Mayor, Councilor John Thain, said, “Our council is intently focused on sustainable waste management and resource recovery services, and diverting organic waste away from landfill through SECOS’ compostable bags supports our community’s efforts.”  There are now 27 Councils in NSW who have implemented kitchen food waste recycling for their communities.

 At the recent NSW Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual awards ceremony in November Albury City Council was recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO (Food Organic & Garden Organics) service for residents in Albury and neighbouring councils. The ABA works closely with the AORA to ensure that bags meet recycling standards.

With an increase in organics industrial recycling facilities being setup across Australia, ABA members are continually working closely with councils in running trial programs and supplying AS4736 certified compostable bags.

With a new National Waste strategy having just been launched in November there are sure to be more local governments commencing trial programs and implementing Kitchen Food Waste Recycling.

To find out what your state is doing read here https://awre.com.au/organics/right-climate-organics-recovery-part-2-state-governments-drive-organics-recovery/

 

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The Australian Government aiming to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030

Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets. Another 2.2 million tonnes is disposed of by the commercial and industrial sector.1 

 Food waste is estimated to cost the Australian economy around $20 billion each year. Food waste is not just wasted food, it also impacts the energy, fuel and water used to grow food that may not be used and instead is thrown away. Food waste that is sent to landfill contributes to greenhouse gas emissions creating further negative environmental impact.

To help address this important issue, the Australian Government committed in 2016 to develop a National Food Waste Strategy and to deliver a National Food Waste Summit. The strategy establishes a framework to support actions that work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030. This ambitious goal aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 for sustainable consumption and production patterns.

On 20 November the National Food Waste Strategy was launched by the Minister for the Environment and Energy at the National Food Waste Summit. The culmination of many months of consultation with industry, academia, the not-for-profit sector, and all tiers of government, the Strategy establishes a framework to support actions that can help work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030.

National support for the strategy has been provided by Australia’s environment ministers, and acknowledges the importance of addressing food waste and the impact it has on the environment, the economy and society.

Reducing food waste is a complex challenge due to the range of food types and their supply chains, and regulatory frameworks to support food safety and waste disposal. It also presents a number of opportunities to rethink how food waste can be prevented, or how wasted food can be used for other purposes.

The National Food Waste Strategy adopts a circular economy approach that takes into account the food waste hierarchy and seeks to capture food waste as a resource so it is not sent to landfill. The use of circular economy approaches and the waste hierarchy to address food waste demands a more strategic and collaborative approach. This will challenge to find solutions across the entire food system rather than continuing to operate within single, linear supply and consumption chains.

Managing Australia’s food waste

There are already a number of activities in Australia to reduce food waste. These include consumer education, investment in waste treatment infrastructure, waste diversion from the retail and commercial sector, food collection for redistribution, and research into high value uses for food waste such as composting.

Many local governments have identified the significant amount of food in their waste streams and are taking steps to reduce food waste through a range of programs including Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) recycling.

To read more http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/national-waste-policy/food-waste

1 SARDI (2015) Primary Production Food Losses: Turning losses into profit.  South Australian Research and Development Institute, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia