13th of June 2017Product news

Why are BioCups the Better Choice?

The War on Waste TV series highlighted how few coffee cups are currently being recycled in Australia. There has been a big drive to switch to reusable cups and we applaud the initiative. It’s always best to reuse whenever possible.

Single use disposables do have a place and banning them is not a solution. An industry adoption of better design principles that consider the entire environmental and social impact of a product throughout its lifecycle is the answer.

Foodservice's role in the War on Waste
The world is moving away from relying on carbon emitting, polluting fossil resources for energy and transportation, in its place we are seeing a transition to electric cars, a boom in solar, wind and hydro power generation and innovations that promise a brighter future without contributing to global warming or environmental pollution.

Similarly, single use disposable packaging is undergoing a revolution. At BioPak we have made significant progress since our inception in 2006, developing recyclable and compostable packaging solutions made from renewable resources.

There is still more work to be done which is why we welcome public awareness on this issue. We want to encourage an industry-wide revolution driven by consumer demand for products that reduce or eliminate any associated negative environmental impacts.

Recyclable and compostable
We want to help improve the recycling rates in Australia. Resource recovery after our products have been used is critical in our move towards a circular economy. BioCups are recyclable and our research has shown that the bioplastic coating used to line BioCups is much easier to separate from the paper fibres during the recycling process than PE plastic lining of all other paper cups. In addition to recycling, BioCups are also commercially compostable.

We are proactively engaged with various industry bodies and representatives in order to address and overcome obstacles that affecting the recycling industry’s ability to accept paper countrywide. We are also working closely with a number of small-scale composters and are committed to provide funding to make organics recycling accessible to more businesses across Australia. Our collective goal should be the diversion all organic waste from landfilled.

Renewable resources
To reduce reliance on fossil resources, we replace these materials with more sustainable, rapidly renewable and abundant, non-toxic alternatives such as plant fibres, and bioplastics made from plants. France and India are leading the way and have announced their intention to phase out single use foodservice disposable packaging made from conventional plastic and only permit the use of certified compostable materials.

It is often overlooked but the raw material used in the manufacturing of a product is responsible for most of a product’s environmental impact. The production of bioplastic emits up to 75% less carbon emissions than the conventional plastic it replaces.

The energy required to transform these materials into a product, along with the energy required to distribute it also needs to transition to renewable sources. Our paper cup production facility purchases some renewable energy and our goal is to a use 100% renewable energy in the future.

Carbon emissions
Currently, carbon emissions make up 60% of humanity’s Ecological Footprint. At BioPak, we strive to minimise any negative impacts our business has on the environment. We were the first packaging company to become Carbon Neutral in Australia and New Zealand in 2010. This means we purchase carbon credits to compensate for the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions created through the production, transportation and disposal of all our products. Each carbon credit or offset, relates to one tonne of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that have been avoided by funding a renewable energy or tree-planting project. Our emissions are verified and reported on by an independent party

5% of profits to positive change
We believe in actively supporting the communities where our products are used. We donate 5% of our profits to charities, including 1% to Rainforest Rescue where our contributions have been used to plant 5,000 trees and protect three hectares in the threatened Daintree Rainforest in far north Queensland since 2011.