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Mission

Compost Connect & Circular Economy

Team Compost Connect, 13 April 2021
Compost Connect & Circular Economy

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.

Food Waste Bin

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.

Compost Cycle

What is the 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: 

  • Take: natural resources.
  • Make: products using traditional industrial methods.
  • Waste: when no longer useful, the material becomes waste, because no thought was given to the product’s end-life.

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:

  • Design out waste and pollution: with innovative materials and closed-loop, circular systems.
  • Keep products and materials in use: design technologies that are robust and repairable, with materials that are recyclable or compostable.
  • Regenerate natural systems: save our organic inputs from waste and use them to generate energy or to produce organic fertiliser to promote healthy soils and environmental regeneration.
Compost In Trash Bin

Why Compost Connect is aligned with the circular economy

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.

  • 10 billion individual single-use foodservice disposables could be recovered and recycled into compost.
  • 500,000 tonnes of CO2 could be avoided by composting food waste compared to allowing sending it to landfill.
  • Reducing plastic pollution and helping to reach Australia’s national target of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
  • Compost can help restore soil fertility and reduce our reliance on chemical fertilisers; healthy soils support an abundance of microorganisms, sequester harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and helps prevent soil erosion and water run-off in our agricultural industry.

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.

Compost Club Members have made an impact:

 By composting their food waste and compostable packaging, they have helped:

Compost Bin

4,680 TONNES

of Waste Diverted From Landfill

Compost Bag

3,276 TONNES

of Compost Created

Green Flower Icon

2,387 TONNES

of Carbon Avoided & Sequestered

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