09th of November 2021Sustainability

Why We Started Compost Connect

Composting offers a closed loop solution for single-use foodservice packaging. Correct disposal is essential to ensure compostable packaging is actually composted. That’s just one of the many reasons we launched the Compost Connect. Read more.

Backed by the government and powered by industry, Compost Connect is a not-for-profit composting initiative here to help connect foodservice businesses to composting services and divert waste from landfill. Composting is easy, saves on general waste costs, and helps fight climate change. We can make a global impact, all by making changes at the local level.

Compost Connect launched in May 2021 and has quickly grown to almost 400 members including cafes, restaurants, coffee roasters, schools, universities, offices and more.

BioPak has been manufacturing sustainable alternatives to conventional single-use foodservice packaging since 2006. While our compostable packaging is designed for a circular economy, correct disposal is essential in order to realise all the associated environmental benefits.

In 2018, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Together with our industrial compost and waste collection partners, we launched our own organic recycling program to divert packaging and food scraps from landfill and create compost instead.

As a responsible business, we could not continue to simply accept that our products were ending up in landfill when there was a more sustainable option available.

“We accept responsibility for all stages in the lifecycle of our products,” says Gary Smith, CEO of BioPak. “We’re not about being ‘less bad’. Instead, we’re creating products that reflect a ‘cradle to cradle’ life cycle rather than a ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle.”

Here’s why compostable packaging (and composting) is part of the solution.


1. We need viable alternatives to recycling

The paper and plastic recycling industry is under increasing pressure following the introduction of the China National Sword policy which has seen China cease to accept recyclable materials exported from western nations. Many Asian countries have followed suit which has resulted in recyclable materials ending up in landfill due to the fact that the local recycling industry is incapable of accepting and processing these materials.

Just because something is recyclable doesn't mean it can or should be recycled. The transport, costs and energy required to sort, clean and recycle materials often don't make commercial sense.

Composting is, on the other hand, hyper local, utilises natural processes and does not require significant energy to operate – you put all your compostable packaging and food scraps into one bin, and it all gets converted into compost.

2. Food residue contaminates the recycling stream

The paper and plastic recycling industrAny food that remains in conventional plastic or fibre based food packaging products contaminates the recycling stream making it an impractical solution for foodservice packaging.

With composting, this isn’t an issue. Both food and compostable packaging products can be put in the same bin,  no separation or sorting required.

3. Composting helps fight climate change

When organic matter, such as food scraps, is disposed of into landfill, it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas. That means waste sent to landfill is a huge contributor to climate change. Composting diverts organic waste from landfill, and subsequently helps fight the climate emergency, while also producing a useful new resource – compost that improves soil quality and water retention.

4. Composting plant-based packaging closes the loop on waste

BioPak packaging is made from plants (not oil) that require quality soil to grow. When our packaging is composted along with food scraps it breaks down through the composting process and returns nutrients back to the soil used to grow more plants. This makes composting plant-based packaging a closed-loop solution.

5. Composting is a low-cost solution

Composting is a low-tech, low-cost solution for waste management in the foodservice industry. It offers a means to divert large volumes of food scraps and organic waste from landfill. In Australia and New Zealand the infrastructure already exists and is rapidly becoming more widely available in different councils and constituencies. (source - AU)

More information

If you want more information about Compost Connect, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions you have.