Currently, a third of all food produced globally each year is thrown away. In monetary terms, this amounts to a staggering one trillion US dollars and would be enough to feed the estimated 10% of the world’s population that go hungry each year.
There is a need for better consideration of our supply chains to ensure surplus food can be diverted from waste, and a growing awareness of this issue is driving innovation in systems to redistribute edible food to our citizens in need.
Beyond the material and human costs, food waste has a devastating impact on our environment. Organic material that is disposed of in landfill breaks down anaerobically (put simply, in the absence of oxygen). Not only does this process give off methane gas, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, it also causes pollution and degrades our environment with toxic leachate, and these valuable organic inputs are lost forever to our economy.
Compost Connect aims to divert organic waste from landfill and transform these materials into high-value organic fertiliser – compost. This process not only reduces the impact of waste in landfill but works to clean up our waste streams, and in this way can help ensure our inorganic materials such as recyclables are able to be recovered and re-used. Designing for the end-life of our waste is the key to sustaining a circular economy.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the leading think-tank on the subject, the Circular Economy is defined as a system in opposition to our current linear model based on Take-Make-Waste principles. Take-Make-Waste principles:
A circular economy aims to redefine growth focusing on positive society-wide benefits. These include the regeneration of our environment, as well as developing sustainable economic activity. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of our systems. It is based on three principles:
Compost Connect links our growing composting industry with the foodservice industry. By supporting the development of collection services and helping businesses to clean up their waste streams, we are closing the loop on the food waste cycle.
Single-use items made from renewable and compostable materials are able to ensure a single, organic waste stream collection which is a practical and cost-effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of a business. As well as reducing plastic waste, the benefits of adopting compostable disposable packaging and a compost collection for organics are wide-reaching:
1,000,000 tonnes of organic waste generated by the foodservice and hospitality sector could be diverted from landfill – in Australia alone! See below for the positive impact that can be made in just Australia through composting.
By abandoning the linear model of consumption, we are stepping towards a greener future. A circular economy is one that is sustainable in the true sense of the word; our waste is transformed into a valuable resource and a source of abundance.
In a circular economy, economic activity has benefits beyond the material, and can actually lead to positive societal and environmental outcomes. In this way, our Compost Club members are making a positive impact on our world.
By composting their food waste and compostable packaging, they have helped:
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