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Disposal options

Take, make and reuse

The current linear economic model in which we take, make and dispose relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits. A circular economy is a viable and sustainable alternative that we are applying to single use food service disposables.

This model requires that we utilse resources more efficiently and effectively recover and recycle packaging waste. We envision a future with virtually no waste but only (secondary) raw materials that are reinjected into a circular economy.

Single use foodservice disposals

Foodservice packaging refers to single-use cups, containers, bags, wraps, cutlery, etc. Used by restaurants and other establishments that offer prepared foods and beverages. These items are made from a variety of materials like paper, plastic and aluminum, allowing foodservice operators to serve their customers in a sanitary, convenient and economical manner.

Single use foodservice packaging adds value and here’s why:

Improves sanitation

Used only once, it reduces the spread of infectious disease. Provides a measure of protection from personal contact and decreases the likelihood of foodborne illnesses. Multiple studies conducted by health departments prove that single-use packaging is more sanitary than reusable options. Reusable foodservice items had higher microbiological levels then disposable items and higher than acceptable bacterial counts.

Water and energy savings

Single-use foodservice packaging saves operators the water, energy and detergents required to sanitize reusables.

Saves on labor

Eliminates the need for additional labor to scrape, wash, rinse, dry and store reusable items

Convenience

Foodservice packaging lets customers enjoy meals and drinks anywhere in a safe, hygienic and convenient manner. They are compact, lightweight and easy to carry. Single-use packaging can offer excellent insulation to keep foods and beverages at the desired temperature, not only increasing customer satisfaction but also helping to protect it from foodborne disease.

The BioPak advantage

We use sustainably sourced, rapidly renewable, raw materials. All paper is sourced from managed plantations, and pulp products use fibers recovered from agricultural waste streams. We also replacing plastics, derived from fossil resources, with bioplastics, derived from renewable resources. This reduces the carbon footprint of our products by up to 75%.  In addition to this, all BioPak products are carbon neutral – read more.

Our production facilities are certified to ISO14001 environmental standards and utilise the most efficient production equipment. End of life options include recycling or composting – enabling the diversion of waste from landfill.

The journey towards zero waste

We are committed to reducing the impact of our products on the environment and are dedicated to increasing the recovery of our products.

While there is some recycling and composting of foodservice packaging already taking place, it is too little. There is also a lot of confusion in this area from industry and consumers so we are actively engaged with industry associations like the Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO), New Zealand’s Public Place Recycling Scheme (PPRS), the Australian Organics Recovery Association (AORA) and the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), to help develop and promote economically viable and sustainable recovery solutions for foodservice packaging.

When we introduced compostable foodservice packaging to Australia in 2006 there were no compost facilities that would accept our products. Thanks to both state and national legislation to reduce the amount of waste to landfill, along with generous government funding, the organics recycling infrastructure is growing – with increasing numbers of compost and recycling facilities accepting our packaging. For more information about recycling and composting of foodservice packaging, please check out.

Understanding landfill

A staggering and unsustainable 18 million tonnes of waste is landfilled in Australia every year. Landfills are not designed to promote the biodegradation of waste, only to store it. Organic material disposed of in this oxygen deprived environment will slowly decompose and release methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than CO2 and a significant contributor to global warming. BioPak products are either compostable or recyclable providing more options to divert waste from landfill. BioPak PLA bioplastic products are designed to stay inert in landfill – and this is a good thing.

Commercial vs home composts

A commercial compost facility optimises the process to ensure rapid biodegradation of organic material. There are many types of commercial composts, they all optimise each step of the decomposition process by controlling conditions like shredding material to the same size or controlling the temperature and oxygen levels. These measures ensure a rapid biodegradation of the organic material to a high quality, toxic-free compost.

Home composts produce the same quality compost at the end of the process but they may not maintain the ideal conditions required for composting certain products such as our PLA bioplastic products which require sustained temperatures of 55°C for 10 days to break the molecular bonds. Home compost aren't good for meat, fish or dairy either as they will smell and/or attract vermin.

Certification matters

All our compostable products are certified compostable to either Australian AS4736 or European EN13432 standards. They are independently tested and verified to completely biodegrade within 120 days in a commercial compost facility, the end product is a non-toxic, nutrient rich humus/compost.
The term biodegradable is often used by unscrupulous companies to imply that their products have an environmental benefit. Technically everything on this planet is biodegradable given sufficient time. Unlike compostable products, there are no defined standards or timeframes required when making these claims. for what is and isn’t considered biodegradable. If you see claims that a product is biodegradable without a compostable certification – proceed with caution.
Read more.

Composting infrastructure

We are pleased to see the number of commercial compost facilities rapidly increasing throughout Australia and New Zealand. They range from large scale tunnel composting facilities to high speed in-vessel compost machines to worm farms. Many different types accept compostable packaging.


Commercial composting

Commercial composting facilities ensure ideal composting conditions to minimize the time to completely biodegrade organic waste. Bioplastics and compostable foodservice products will biodegrade within 120 days in a compost environment that maintains a temperature of 55ºC for the first 10 days and has a humidity level of 80%. Contact us to work out the best disposal solutions for your compostable packaging – 1300 246 725 | sales@biopak.com.au  – alternatively contact our industry partners directly using the map below.


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Are paper cups recyclable?

Our paper BioCups are coated with a plant-based bioplastic and they are recyclable in many areas throughout Australia – see a full list of locations below. 

There is a lot of confusion about whether paper cups are recyclable or not and many claims in the media that no paper cups are recycled in Australia but they are simply not true. The bioplastic lining on a BioCup actually dissolves during the repulping process and is easier to recycle compared to PE plastic coated cups. This fact was recently verified by Planet Ark and The Australian Packaging Covenant.

Some recyclers say they will not accept paper cups as they are unable to separate the plastic from the paper fibres, yet these very same companies accept paper milk and juice cartons which are made from the same components as coffee cups – plastic coated paper board.

 

Is bioplastic recyclable?

Technically, PLA bioplastics can be recycled, but they currently represent only a small fraction of the plastic waste stream so it's not yet commercially viable to do so. The fact that no recycling facilities currently accept PLA does not mean that this material should not be used. Rather we should persevere and educate business owners and consumers on the benefits and help grow and support the recycling infrastructure.

Bioplastics do not contaminate existing plastic recycling waste streams. Material recycling facilities use electronic equipment to identify and separate multiple types of plastics. This technology can easily identify and separate PLA bioplastics from conventional plastics.

Is sugarcane pulp recyclable?

Our sugarcane products can be recycled along with the mainstream paper and cardboard recycling if not contaminated with too much food residue.

Sugarcane pulp is a more sustainable and healthier material for both humans and the planet compared to Styrofoam and plastic. Our sugarcane pulp products will biodegrade in both a compost environment and worm farm – returning valuable nutrients back into the soil.


Paper cup recyclers

There is a lot of confusion in this area from industry and the consumer alike. We have compiled a list of all councils in Australia who accept paper cups in their paper recycling stream. Contact us to work out the best disposal solutions for your compostable packaging – 1300 246 725 | sales@biopak.com.au

NSW
  • Armidale Dumareq Council
  • Byron Shire Council
  • Gosford City Council
  • Lismore City Council
  • Moree Plains Shire Council
  • Murrumbidgee Shire Council
  • Port Stephens Council
  • Shellharbour City Council
  • Snowy River Shire
  • Tamworth Regional Council
  • Tenterfield Shire Council
  • Tumbarumba Shire
  • Wyong Shire Council
ACT
  • All ACT Councils
WA
  • Cambridge Town
  • City of Bunbury
  • City of Busselton
  • Manjimup Shire
  • Perth City
QLD
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Lock Valley Regional Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Southern Downs Regional Council
  • Whitsunday Regional Council
Victoria
  • Cardina Shire
  • City of Ballarat
  • Greater Bendigo City Council
  • Nillumbik Shire Council
  • Warrnambool City Council
  • Wyndham City Council
SA
  • Adelaide Hills Council
  • Alexandria Council
  • Barossa Council
  • City of Mount Gambier
  • City of Onkaparinga
  • City of Playford
  • City of Port Adelaide Enfield
  • City of Salisbury
  • City of Unley
  • City of Victor Harbor
  • City of West Torrens
  • District Council of Cleve
  • District Council of Yankalilla
  • Kangaroo Island Council
  • Town of Gawler

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