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WasteMINZ present Andrew Morlet, Chief Executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

WasteMINZ is very proud to be supporting the Sustainable Business Network to bring  Andrew Morlet, Chief Executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to New Zealand at the end of February.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is the world’s leading circular economy organisation. It provides global thought leadership and is responsible for establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia.

There is a public events in Wellington, with discounted tickets for SBN and WasteMINZ members.

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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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So what is FOGO?

You may have heard the term FOGO being used in the media or through local Councils more and more but what does it actually mean. FOGO stands for Food Organic and Garden Organics.

FOGO is considered any food waste including fruit and vegetable scraps, processed food and leftovers from meals such as meat, fish, chicken, bread, egg, egg shells, dairy products, coffee grounds and tea bags. Garden waste can include grass clippings, flowers and herbs, small branches and leaves. Paper towel, compostable plates, and compostable bags can also be disposed of through a FOGO service.

So why all the talk about FOGO?

Many Australian and New Zealand councils have recognised that sending FOGO to landfill does not offer any benefits. FOGO is far better off being composted, either at home or a commercial composting facility. Recognising that not everyone home composts, many councils are trialling or introducing FOGO collections services, where FOGO is collected and sent to a commercial composing facility.

Composting FOGO is great for our environment

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions from landfill come from decomposing organic material which could be recycled. Not only do food and garden organics produce methane as they decompose in landfill, but their nutrients remain locked in landfill and can’t be used again to grow plants and food. Compost can be used to fertilise gardens, farms and sporting fields and the mulch can be used to protect against weeds, reduce plant stress and save water in gardens, parks, orchards and vineyards.

Composting and mulching FOGO is also cheaper than sending them to landfill. By reducing the amount of material sent to landfill then councils can invest in other community services.

*Bega Valley FOGO logo

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Bioplastics and Biopolymers Market to reach US$7,622 billion by the end of 2021

GMI Research latest study, estimated the global bioplastics & biopolymers market at USD 3,587 billion in 2016 and projects it to reach USD 7,622 billion by the end of 2021, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 16.27% during the forecast period.

Major factors boosting the growth prospects of the bioplastics and biopolymers market include supportive government policies and regulations due to lesser toxicity and lower amounts of carbon content, growing concern for human health, and the high consumer preference towards bio-based bio-degradable packaging.

In 2016, the Bio-PET market is estimated to surge at the highest rate during the forecast period due to its increased usage in the packaging industry. These have similar properties to conventional PET. Bio-PET helps in the reduction of a product’s carbon footprint and also helps in recycling. The properties of Bio-PET include durability, flexibility, heat resistance, printability, and lower carbon content. This makes it the best fit for numerous applications in sectors such as packaging, automotive, consumer goods, textiles, and agriculture.

The packaging and bottles segment is projected to hold the largest share in the bioplastics and biopolymers market during the forecast period owing to its growing application in food, goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals packaging. Bioplastics  are being used to manufacture various products such as bags, agriculture foils, toys, textiles, overwraps, lamination films, and disposable housewares, to name a few. The growing global preference for bio-packaged products by consumers is a crucial factor fuelling the growth of the packaging and bottles segment of the bioplastics and biopolymers market.

The bioplastics and biopolymers market is dominated by the European region followed by Asia-Pacific, North America, and the rest of the world. Europe holds the largest market share in the global bioplastics & biopolymers market during the forecast period. The growth of bioplastics & biopolymers market in the European region is attributed to the stringent government policies and regulations, growing concern for human health and an increasing focus from consumers towards sustainable packaging.

Source Link: https://www.gmiresearch.com/report/bioplastic-biopolymers-market.html

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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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Australasian Bioplastics Association becomes founding member of the Pan Pacific Bioplastic Association

The Pan Pacific Bioplastics Alliance (PPBA) has been formed to work together in identifying collaborative projects in sustainable development that enhance the PPBA leadership position in the global community.

Founding Members of PPBA include the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), the Environmentally Biodegradable Polymer Association in Taiwan (EBPA), the Korean Bioplastics Association (KBPA), the Japan BioPlastics Association (JBPA), the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA), the Biodegradable Products Institute in the USA (BPI) and the European Bioplastics (EUBP).

From time to time, Associate Members noted as Technical Partners, may be added to the PPBA.

The Australasian Bioplastics Associations President, Mr Rowan Williams, will assume the role of PPBA’s Executive Secretary.

PPBA projects are focused on promoting the continual growth of bioplastics and may include, but are not be limited to the following:

  • Identifying, organising and promoting sustainable development through dissemination of knowledge and information
  • Co-hosting various programs such as lectures, workshops, seminars, forums, conferences, press conferences as well as other activities.

PPBA’s collaborative projects will be aimed at the general public, companies and industries, NGOs, media, government agencies and academic institutions and associations.

Further information on the PPBA and updates on PPBA activities will be communicated to ABA Members and supporters in the future.

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How Close Are We To a New Plastics Economy?

During the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report on the New Plastics Economy.

The United Kingdom-based NGO, which is dedicated to the promotion of a worldwide circular economy, acknowledges that plastics have been important to global commerce. But in this 120-page report, the Foundation says too much value is lost as massive amounts of plastic, especially what is used for packaging, ends up in landfill.

Why focus on plastic?

As the production and consumption of this material are expected to increase rapidly in the coming years, the results of an unchecked plastics industry could include long-term risks to public health, further destruction of the world’s oceans and a loss of economic productivity.

Click here to read more

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1 Year Free bioplastics MAGAZINE subscription for Australasian Bioplastics Association Members

ABA Members are being offered a 1 year free subscription to bioplastics MAGAZINE. bioplastics MAGAZINE is the only independent bioplastics trade magazine worldwide. Published biomonthly, bioplastics MAGAZINE provides the latest and most comprehensive news on the global bioplastics industry and is a great source for anyone working in bioplastics, packaging, manufacturing or interested in the latest trends in bioplastics.

For ABA Members to receive a 1 year free subscriptions they just need to subscribe online at http://bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/kontakt/subscription.php

Just enter “ABA” in the promotion code field.

The subscription will be free for the first 6 issues (=1 year). A renewal invoice will be sent after a year and ABA Members can opt to continue to receive the magazine or choose to cancel.

Further Bonus – 10% discount on Events

ABA Members also receive a 10% discount at bioplastics MAGAZINE events.

Just enter “ABA” in the promotion code field at  http://bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/kontakt/b3_registration.php (for the upcoming Bioplastics Business breakfast at K’2016 Düsseldorf/Germany) and you will receive a 10% discount.

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Sustainability Matters – A Must Read Article

Packaging has an important role to play in sustainability.
This ‘must read’ article titled “Future trends for packaging and its role in sustainability” which appears in the February-March edition of Sustainability News explains so much with a few familiar names appearing throughout.
Sustainability Matters Article Feb_March 2015

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Future trends for packaging and its role in sustainability

Packaging has an important role to play in sustainability as it functions to protect and reduce waste of products and raw materials as they move through the supply chains. To achieve this, the packaging must be holistically designed with both the product and its end use in mind so that the overall environmental performance is optimised. The packaging must also be: made from responsibly sourced materials; manufactured using energy-efficient production technologies; recoverable after use; sourced, manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable or efficient sources of energy.

When considering packaging and its sustainability, the packaging itself can’t be considered in isolation. Claude D’Amico, market development manager of Innovia, says sustainability has to apply to the product together with the packaging.

“New products, including their packaging, need to be planned with the full consideration of sustainability, starting with the raw materials, through to the manufacturing and usage efficiency as assessed by life cycle analysis, including the planned recovery of all resources embedded in the unused or waste portions of the product and its packaging,” he says.

Packaging material and its contribution to sustainability

Within the restricted view of the packaging itself, D’Amico says we are starting to see more emphasis on overall sustainability rather than just end-of-life options for the packaging. “Issues such as renewable resources utilised sustainably and the avoidance of GMO [genetically modified organisms] are gaining prominence,” he says.

Packaging materials, such as bioplastics made with a growing percentage of renewable resource, are experiencing a positive growth trend. According to European Bioplastics reports, global bioplastics production capacities are predicted to grow by more than 400% by 2018, with biobased, non-biodegradable plastics – such as biobased PE and biobased PET – gaining the most growth.

Steve Davies, director of corporate communications and public affairs, NatureWorks, says that tremendous strides made in the development of bioplastics and the applications in which they are used is an important macro trend in the ‘mainstreaming’ of bioplastics. He says: “Once regarded as ‘new-to-the-world’ materials, bioplastics are now entering their second decade of commercial-scale, world-class production, and with the ‘remaking’ of some mature plastic types in biobased variants – bio PET, for example – bioplastics and plastics have in a sense converged.

“Bioplastics are increasingly seen simply as plastics with additional environmental and end-of-life attributes. The functional properties and performance of the materials are discussed first and then, as appropriate, the ‘bio’ properties where they are relevant.

“This is a sea change from where the industry was two or three years ago,” says Davies.

D’Amico says: “Materials such as bio-derived PE and PET are growing faster than those that are compostable.” He says the ‘ideal’ combination is biobased and compostable, and there are materials available from Innovia that achieve this rare combination.

D’Amico says what’s also on trend is “some sort of sustainability verification, be it origin certification – such as FSC or PEFC chain of custody certification, or other forms – such as measuring and reporting the percentage of renewable carbon content”.

“Certifications that include considerations of social issues – such as avoidance of competition with food crops – is also of interest, though these are not as common for annually harvested crops.

“The objective is not sustainable packaging, but sustainable living on earth,” says D’Amico.

When asked about how we can ensure that raw materials are responsibly grown, Davies says what is critical is that the supply chain take advantage of credible third-party certification.

“In 2012, for example, Danone in Germany wanted to demonstrate and verify the sustainability of Ingeo feedstock production based on sustainable agricultural practice for its new yoghurt cup slated to replace traditional polystyrene packaging. Danone became the first company to achieve environmental sourcing certification from both the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) Association and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).”

D’Amico says: “Invariably, all raw materials need to either be grown sustainably or, if they need to be from a finite resource, it needs to be recycled completely and endlessly. And all this whilst satisfying the nutritional needs of the growing world population.

“In short, ensuring sustainability implies absolutely no waste – not for packaging, not for any other aspect of life’s various needs. What we now consider waste of any description needs to be reclassified as input for other necessary processes.

“Are we there yet? No, not by a long shot, but that needs to be our target.”

Re-usability or repurposing

There is not enough being done in the area of re-usability and repurposing of packaging, according to D’Amico. He says: “More needs to be done to minimise the wasting of this valuable resource. Recycling by melting and reshaping is fantastic for rigid containers made of PET or HDPE. Some flexible packaging is suitable for similar treatment via the Red Group initiative, though this more often than not is downcycled into park benches. Not yet up to structural timber replacement.

“Incineration for energy recovery may be an option for plastics and packaging that don’t suit the above techniques, and incineration of plastics derived from bio sources is even more attractive as the CO2released is from within our time, not fossil CO2. Composting of putrefiable waste and food-contaminated packaging is not happening enough, nor is there a prevalence of the very efficient in vessel anaerobic digestion.”

Davies says there is a strong trend towards organics diversion from landfill, with legislation changes (such as landfill bans) occurring in some geographies. “This is leading to a strong interest (eg, by restaurants, entertainment and sports venues) in tools such as compostable food serviceware that facilitate and simplify organics diversion,” he says.

Standards and labelling

In the global market today there are many plastics which are claimed to be biodegradable, compostable, oxo-degradable or oxo-biodegradable. But what do these terms mean in reality?

Rowan Williams, president of the Australasian Bioplastics Association, recently discussed this with Professor Ramani Narayan, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the United States, a world-renowned expert in the field of bioplastics and plastics generally. An extract from a precis from Professor Narayan’s discussion explains: “Claims of degradable, partially biodegradable or eventually biodegradable are not acceptable. It has been shown that these degraded fragments absorb toxins present in the environment, concentrating them and transporting them up the food chain.

“Therefore, verifiable scientifically valid evidence from an approved third-party laboratory is needed to document complete biodegradability in a defined disposal system, in a short time period using the specified international standards.”

Davies says there are standards in place in Australia, for example, for industrial composting (AS4736-2006) and home composting (AS 5810-2010), and a verified logo scheme is in place (overseen by the Australasian Bioplastics Association) to ensure that claims cannot be made without proper verification.

“By taking a more stringent approach on weeding out unsubstantiated claims, governmental agencies such as the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) will help raise the overall level of interest in certifications. This would have a positive effect on the brands and improve industry practices overall, and on consumers who depend on these logos and standards to make informed decisions,” says Davies.

D’Amico says: “As our appreciation of the value imbedded in our organic waste is realised, we will divert that waste to more efficient and immediate recovery processes such as composting or anaerobic digestion. As the infrastructure for processing organic waste is introduced, so can the introduction of appropriate labelling for packaging begin. It needs to be an instruction, not a symbol, for example: “Please place this plastic wrap with your compostables in the clearly marked organic waste collection bag.”

D’Amico also says the design guides in the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), origin certification such as FSC for wood-based products, ISCC+ for annually harvested crops, fair trade practices, fair produce prices regulations and many other initiatives are all gaining prominence, and collectively they assist with sustainable living on earth.

These are just some of the trends and approaches related to packaging and sustainability. From raw material acquisition to final disposal, applying the principles of sustainability – environmental, economic and social aspects – to the full life cycle of packaging, not just end of life, is clearly an important trend.

All the latest packaging and processing equipment will be on display at AUSPACK 2015, which is being held from 24-27 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the Australian Packaging & Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) will also be holding the 2015 National Technical Forums as part of Packaging & Processing Week at the event. For further information, visit www.auspack.com.au/index.php/packaging-week/.

By Sustainability Matters Staff
Tuesday, 20 January, 2015

Sustainability Matters Article Feb_March 2015