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26th of August 2019Composting & recycling

Let’s keep food waste and compostable packaging out of landfill

Climate emergency is happening, landfills are overloaded, and the recycling industry is in crisis. Yet our collective consumption habits aren’t slowing down. In this article, we look at New Zealand's compost infrastructure and recycling volumes. In New Zealand alone, more than one million tonnes of plant matter and food scraps are sent to landfills each year, representing about 320 kilograms of organic matter for each one of us.

 

Industrial composting presents a huge opportunity to prevent food waste and compostable packaging from ending up in landfills where it otherwise releases methane – a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than CO2, which contributes to climate change (source).

 

Industrial composting presents a huge opportunity to prevent food waste and compostable packaging from ending up in landfills where it otherwise releases methane – a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than CO2, which contributes to climate change (source).

There is however a lot of confusion surrounding how it actually all works, and if packaging is actually being composted.

Let’s set the record straight.

Compostable packaging is part of the solution

Composting is nature's recycling solution for organic materials - compostable packaging enables the diversion of food scraps and food contaminated packaging from landfill which reduces the environmental impact of methane emissions. In New Zealand, there are 11 industrial composting facilities that accept food scraps and certified compostable packaging.

Independent third party certification is crucial to validate environmental claims and provide assurance to  composters, business owners and consumers that if correctly disposed of, our products will close the loop and return valuable nutrients back into the soil.

“Reclaim requires any packaging we collect as part of our compostable recycling service to be certified commercially compostable. These certifications ensure that the compostable packaging can sufficiently decompose in a commercial composting facility within the required timeframes and that no detrimental contaminants enter the compost stream. By collecting BioPak compostable packaging, we are ensuring that it is turned into nutrient compost, rather than going to landfill where it would release the potent greenhouse gas, methane.”

— Loren Walker, Reclaim

Our plant-based compostable foodservice packaging is certified to Australian and European compost standards – truly supporting the circular economy.

You can help

We encourage collaboration from government, local councils, waste management companies, recyclers, brand owners, business owners and consumers to reduce waste to landfill. Through our organic recycling program, the BioPak Compost Service, industrial composting facilities in New Zealand process organic waste, food scraps, and compostable packaging transforming these materials into nutrient-rich soil over eight weeks.

Interested in what's happening in Australia? Click here >