Organics in Landfill Are the Third Largest Contributor to Climate Change
At Compost Connect, we’re facing the harsh truth: a significant amount of food waste and compostable foodservice packaging doesn’t end up in the right place – it goes to landfill.
The problem with that? Organics decomposing in landfill emit methane, a greenhouse gas that’s on average 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
In Australia, in 2019 alone, we sent 818,000 tonnes of packaging to landfill.
If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter behind the USA and China.
Less than 8% of the 1,000,000 tonnes of organic waste generated by the foodservice and hospitality sector is organically recycled.
So it’s no surprise reducing food waste and compostable foodservice packaging from going to landfill is one of the most important strategies to combat global warming, reduce the burden on landfills, and cut back global CO2 emissions.
Composting For The Future
We see composting as the best end-of-life solution for food waste and compostable foodservice packaging – now and in the future.
Instead of adding to landfill, we can turn food and packaging waste into a nutrient-rich resource that captures carbon, promotes healthy soil, and has flow-on effects for plants and the planet.
But unfortunately, composting infrastructure isn’t widely available or accessible – yet. To make matters worse, there’s currently no national composting mandate in Australia and New Zealand – Food and Organic Waste Collection (FOGO) is optional in most states and territories.
So, it’s clear we need to instigate widespread change to the food recycling crisis at a local level. And in doing so, we can encourage councils and governments to do the same.
Compost Connect Was Born
Compost Connect is a not-for-profit initiative committed to education, lifting composting rates, and connecting foodservice businesses to commercial composters. Our aim is to divert organic waste from landfill.
At a business level, we help connect business owners to organic waste pick-up services. We have 23 compost partners servicing 2,200+ suburbs across Australia and New Zealand. You can also join our community membership and show your commitment to the planet and circular economy.
At an individual level, we make it easy for you to find and support businesses that compost, as well as learn more about the composting options available in your area.
Together, we can turn food waste into nutrient-rich compost and encourage local councils to jump on board.
Our mission is simple:
Divert food waste from landfill
Lift composting rates
Make a positive difference to the environment
Compostable Packaging – A Vehicle To Curb Food Waste
At Compost Connect, we see certified compostable packaging as the ideal vehicle to curb food waste. That’s because it makes disposing of food waste easy – everything can go in the one bin.
But not all compostable food packaging is created equal. Some packaging products may claim they’re compostable without the certifications to prove it. Always look for the Home (AS5810) and Industrially (AS4736) Compostable Logos AND the company’s sub-licence number stated underneath.
Compostable Packaging Challenges
Making sure compostable packaging ends up in the right place remains an ongoing challenge. There’s currently no national mandate to implement food and organic waste collection (FOGO) in Australia and New Zealand.
In a perfect world, all compostable packaging would be certified home compostable. But that’s not the case, yet. Compostable materials continue to improve and evolve – watch this space.
Greenwashing is everywhere in the packaging industry. Products may claim they’re compostable to win over consumers, but without certifications, these
claims are likely to be greenwashing.
What You Can Do, Now
So, while you’re sitting tight waiting for more material innovation and composting infrastructure to be built, here’s what you can do.
- Encourage your local council to implement firmer targets and stronger regulations. Sign our petition or write a letter to your MP.
- If you’re an individual, support businesses with a composting facility in place – check out our map.
- If you’re a business, check if a compost pick up service is available in your area.
- Get familiar with the Certified Compostable Logo (the only source of truth in Australia and New Zealand) so you can support businesses doing the right thing and combat greenwashing.