Announced at The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence in Sydney, BioPak won the award for their innovative product stewardship initiative, Compost Connect, a not-for-profit initiative and national composting network connecting foodservice businesses and individuals to composters and certified compostable packaging suppliers so that their food waste and compostable packaging can be returned to nutrient soil.
The awards acknowledge achievements across stewardship outcomes for collective schemes and individual businesses, the use of digital technology and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with BioPak commended for their approach to the design of its compostable packaging and to reducing methane emissions relative to food waste going to landfill, whilst cycling nutrients via compost.
Product Stewardship requires producers and retailers to better manage the impacts of products and material streams through their lifecycle, with BioPak Founder, Richard Fine commenting on the importance of product stewardship and the significance of this award.
“We take our role and responsibility in championing circular solutions for our products incredibly seriously and are beyond proud to be recognised by The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence in this area,” said Fine.
“There is a significant environmental benefit and opportunity to recover and recycle a larger portion of the nearly 900,000 tonnes of organic waste and reduce unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic disposables consumed within the foodservice and hospitality sector, whilst simultaneously
recovering and recycling an estimated 17 billion individual single-use foodservice disposables”
“Composting is a scalable solution to our current waste crisis, and we will continue to champion innovation to help fight the war on waste.
Structured as a collaborative, open, not-for-profit organisation, Compost Connect allows businesses to identify suppliers of certified compostable packaging and connect to organic waste recovery and recycling service providers.
Packaging suppliers and distributors are invited to become members subject to supplying certified compostable packaging and meeting Compost Connect’s eligibility criteria.
The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence was established in December 2020 by a consortium of UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, the Australian Industry Group and Cox Inall dentsu in partnership with the Australian Government through the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. It was established with the assistance of a grant from the Australian Government. The Centre holds the required knowledge and expertise in product stewardship scheme design and implementation, education, training, research, policy, community engagement, supply chains, logistics, government liaison and business engagement.
Compost Connect is an organic recycling initiative and online platform that provides businesses with access to products, services and information that allows them to participate in a circular and regenerative system by diverting waste from landfill and converting it into nutrient-rich compost.
There is a significant opportunity to capture and recycle a larger portion of the nearly 900,000 tonnes of organic waste generated by the foodservice and hospitality sector whilst simultaneously recovering and recycling an estimated 10 billion individual single-use foodservice disposables.
Built as an open, not-for-profit organisation, Compost Connect allows businesses to identify suppliers of certified compostable packaging and access a sustainable end-of-life option. The platform also acts as an educational platform to provide resources and support. Data on the number and names of businesses recycling their organic waste are collected via a map allowing end users to locate businesses composting their organic waste and their packaging.
Building upon BioPak’s previous Compost Service, Compost Connect, has connected 22 industrial compost facilities with 250+ businesses across Australia and New Zealand to recycle their food scraps and compostable packaging. This has amounted to 4,680 tonnes of organic waste diverted from landfill, 3,276 tonnes of compost created and 2,387 tonnes of carbon dioxide avoided and sequestered.
Compost Connect, a not-for-profit, independent, agnostic platform – continues to help businesses find their local composter and suppliers of certified compostable packaging. By involving various players in the packaging and the waste industries, this initiative could help divert a larger portion of food waste and compostable packaging from landfill. If only 20% of the food waste produced by the food service and hospitality sector was captured by this program, it would see 180,000 tonnes of materials avoiding landfill.
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